Date Night

Call us crazy but we like hanging out with our kid. So much so, that we really haven’t had a “date night” since she’s been born. Sure we make time for one another during the moments when she’s napping, etc but when it comes to finding a sitter or having grandparents time while daddy and mommy take in a movie…just hasn’t happened.

I know exactly what you’re thinking, “But *insert random article and/or website* says that it’s important to maintain your relationship as husband and wife outside of the baby” I get it, I do. And I agree! But for us that just doesn’t equate to following what’s been laid out for us. We’ve always maintained that the most important thing for children is to have parents that love and respect one another. And that we do. Our love for her is an extension of our love for one another and right now including her in on our date nights bring more pleasure than not having her there. Let me explain. In scenario 1, we have mommy and daddy holding hands over a nice dinner and glass of their favorite wine. They are talking about their day and plans for the weekend. Sure, it’s nice and brings you back to the days when you were care free and dating. Scenario 2, mommy and daddy are at the dinner table at home with their little one between them. Instead of holding hands, one is holding the spill-proof bowl and the other is making airplanes noises to bring excitement to the bowl of sweet potato purée. Conversation about their day and weekend plans are interrupted by spit bubbles and funky faces. They pick up the conversation later over a slumbering little person nuzzled into mommys arms. For right now, we choose the latter.

For us, we find enjoyment in watching her experience new things. During our first restaurant experience, she fell asleep before we placed our orders. Nowadays she lights up at the waiters apron, folded napkins and watching daddy eat. It may not sound exciting to you but we eat it up. No pun intended. Maybe some day we’ll get back to exploring our city sans kid but for now, everything is just better with her in it.

One Month Check-In: Back to work!

It has been about a month since I’ve been back to work and I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. Don’t get me wrong there are some days when getting out of the bed is a hefty task but more often than not, everything is all good! It is easy because we have a system that works for us. And I have an AMAZING support team. Her father, grandparents and uncles all play a very important role. It wasn’t until we were a week and a half in that I started to relax and trust the process. Morgan was/is fine!

 

In returning to work, my biggest fear was missing out on the important milestones in Morgans development. She is with her dad during the day but we all know that no one quite does it like Mom (Hi, Dear!). I feared that he wouldn’t read to her, or that her tummy time would be neglected. He is an amazing dad, but sometimes dads aren’t as regimented as moms. I also feared that she would grow especially attached to him and somehow forget about me (silly, yes I know). But none of these things have happened. Its as if we never missed a beat. Our little person has started to crawl, and I was there for that. She’s rolling over from her back and I was there for that too. She does have a special bond with her dad but ours is still there. Sure, I don’t feed her honey buns during the day like some people (major side eye!) but our time together when I get home is just as productive as it was when I were home. And we still have our weekends.

 

I’m officially a working mom. It feels good to know that I am setting an example for my daughter. I want her to believe that she is capable of doing (successfully) whatever it is that her heart desires. The goal was never for me to be a stay at home mom forever (Mama spent too much time working on those degrees to not use them.) but it was for me to find a way to balance both home and work. The truth is, there is no balance. Some days  my family gets 80% of me and 20% is left for whatever has been left unfinished. Other days the work pot gets 60% of me while home gets the remaining 40%. My support system does an awesome job of filling in where I’m lacking on those days. A wise women once told me “Don’t try to do it all. Just get it all done!” It didn’t make sense then but it certainly does now. I can’t spread myself too thin because my work, marriage, child and hobbies will suffer but what I can do is give 100% to whatever it is that I am focused on in that moment. Right now, I am writing the best damn post that I’ve ever written J. And when I am done with this I will check it off of my list of things to do, and move on.

 

Life for me is great right now. We are operating like a well-oiled machine and that makes for an exciting future.

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Blue Apron Review

Mamas! I think I’ve found the answer to our prayers. If there is one thing that you should know about me is that I’m a mom who likes convenience. Even more so, now that I’ve gone back to work. One of my current obstacles besides having to get adjusted to using the NYC subway system again, is dinner! I get home at 7pm. That leaves just enough time to play with my little munchkin, check in with the hubby, get into Morgans nighttime routine (bath, massage, bottle, book) and prep for the next day. If dinner happens, it’s because my husband has prepared it. God bless him, but there is only so much spaghetti a girl can take (hi, dear 😘). There just isn’t enough time and eating after 9pm is just not something that I’m ready to do. But I’m pretty sure that I’ve found the holy grail of dinner time. A friend of mine introduced me to Blue Apron. From their website, “Blue Apron is a new concept in grocery delivery, built around incredible cooking experiences. We offer a once-a-week subscription service where we deliver all the fresh ingredients you need to make 3 meals, in exactly the right proportions. We’ve designed our service to teach you fun new recipes, save prep time and also reduce unnecessary waste. By letting us shop for you, we can bring you fresher and higher-quality food than you can get on your own in the supermarket, and for better prices!” I couldn’t agree more!

Here’s how the subscription service works:

  • Select the type of plan you want and the number of people
  • Delivery is free, and they deliver the same day each week
  • There’s no commitment: you can cancel anytime before the weekly cutoff
  • Stick with them long enough and you’ll get additional free goodies in the mail!

It cuts down time at the grocery store by supplying everything you need in your box delivery!

I thought that it was a no brainer when it came to trying it out. So the kind folks at Blue Apron provided a delivery with three meals and so my review begins.

My box arrived on Saturday at 11am. It was packed pretty well with solidly frozen ice packs to preserve the perishable items. Everything was labeled and packaged, so storing in my refrigerator was super easy. Also in the box came my cooking instructions for each meal, along with pictures. I prepared my first meal on Monday. It was the Chicken Sate in peanut sauce with jasmine rice and marinated green tomatoes. Delicious!! Seriously. My husband kept popping into the kitchen to see what I was up too and was also pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Convenience is great but if it doesn’t taste good, it’s a no go in my house. Hubby has quite the palate. Lol

Prep time was 6 minutes, cooking time 22 minutes, clean up time, 12 minute. 40 minutes total!

The directions were really easy to follow. The ingredients are fresh and yield a healthy portion for two adults. Miss Morgan was my sous chef the whole time and it was simple enough that I was able up play with her and cook at the same time. I also love the fact that it takes the anxiety out of cooking. If there is one thing I dread is that 4pm phone call asking “what’s for dinner?”. This week, I can just look at my Blue Apron menu and provide an answer, knowing that the ingredients are already home waiting for me. Major win in my book.

I have two more meals to prepare this week. Seared Salmon and Beef and Rice stuffed poblano peppers. I can’t wait!

I’m so excited about my new find that I am subscribing to their service and I want all of my readers to enjoy as well. For all Mommy& Morgan readers here is a little treat, my first 100 readers get 30% off their first Blue Apron Box!! Redeem here: https://www.blueapron.com/mommyandmorgan
I really hope that you enjoy as much as we are. Feel free to share your pics by hashtagging #BlueApron #MommyAndMorgan

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Product Review: Sweedie Kids

We have a teether! A drooling, gum gnawing, hand sucking teether. I didn’t think that anything other than a faucet could produce that much liquid. We are literally running out of bibs and burp clothes. Miss Morgan is having the time of her life and doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort at all, so that much makes us happy. I can’t, however, say that I am comfortable with wiping her mouth as much as it warrants these days. I was nervous about her skin and the constant wiping. Sure I “dab” most times instead of wiping but it still happens. So began my hunt for super soft baby bibs and burp clothes. Since birth we’ve been using Aden and Anais organic clothes, which as nice but a little too hard for a teether. I put my feelers out there and was put in touch with the folks over at Sweedie kids. Feels like we’ve hit the jackpot. Their bibs are super soft and THICK! Major win. It doesn’t hurt that it’s stylish and doesn’t take away from her outfits 😉.

On Saturday we had a picnic in Central Park and as most know, bibs find a way of getting completely unrecognizable after a day outdoors. Not her Sweedie bib. It held it’s shape, remained dry and fastened around her neck. The moisture did not soak through to her neck. As far as wiping goes, the super soft material doesn’t irritate her skin. Although this was sent to us for this review, I would certainly buy more and encourage others to do the same.

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Back to work!

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

And so it is. The last 9 months have been nothing short of amazing. I’ve gained a new found respect for my husband, fallen in love with our little person and realized that nothing else will make me feel the way they do. The plan was to be home for a few more months but my God had other plans by blessing me with a new opportunity. So with an open heart and mind, today is my first day as a working mom. My prayer is for continued guidance over my thoughts, words and deeds. Order my steps so that they may be acceptable in your sight. No situation is perfect but let me tell you, I couldn’t have orchestrated this better if I tried. Everything happens as it should once you let go and let God work.

Everyone that knows me, knows that I am a woman of faith. I probably don’t go to church as much as I should or read my bible daily but I am a diligent prayer. My prayer during this time at home has been for God to guide my family and bring us happiness, however it may come. And happy we have been. It hasn’t been the easiest thing, surviving on my husbands income alone but we made it work. I’m also a planner by nature so we saved, took out additional supplemental income insurance and relied on each other. We certainly have family who could lend a hand if needed but we did it on our own and have been able to lend a hand to those around us that needed it. Prayer works!

It is with this mindset that I return to the work world. I’m nervous that I may be missing out on important milestones or that her development will slow down because I’m not there to work and play with her every hour of her day but I trust in my God. As stated, this situation couldn’t have been any better if I planned it myself (and trust me, I’ve tried). My husband and her grandparents are super excited to begin our new routine, as am I. There is no doubt in my mind that my husband will do a phenomenal job, our family will flourish and we will have new experiences to share. To all working moms, feel free to share your tips and insights on how you’ve made it work and to all of my SAHM I am still with you in spirit! Staying home has been great for my family and I and I hope that every woman gets to experience it at some point during her journey through motherhood.

Nursery Check-in!

It’s been about four months since Miss Morgan has come into our lives. So it’s been four months of diapers, wipes, baths, ointment and ultimately figuring out what works for us and what doesn’t.

Being a new mom, like so many before me, I researched all of the “must have” items on every. single. website.  I compared prices and incorporated my need for natural products. I created a registry and whatever we didn’t receive at our shower we purchased in the months leading up to her arrival. (Please note- if the item was a gift, I am in no way being ungrateful to the gift giver, after all I put it on the registry and you were simply trying to make a hormonal pregoo lady happy. Kudos to you)

Some things worked well for us and others, not so much. So I’ve decided to share my list with you. The irony is not lost on me that this is yet another website touting must haves, but whatevs!

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

Changing table (South Shore – Savannah Changing Table/Dresser, Pure White)-$250South Shore Changing Table

I love this table!! We bought an organic changing pad separately but I can’t share enough on what a good purchase this was. It’s height is convenient, the three small shelves are perfect for diaper storage (more on the boxes later). During our diaper changes and bath time routine, we dry, massage, change clothes, etc all in the same place because everything is within reach. No drawers to open with oily hands!

Storage basket (wicker pink lined storage baskets from Target)- $35

wicker basket
These baskets come in a set of three (large, medium and small). We use the large one for diapers, the medium one for lotions, ointment, powder, etc and the small for socks and head bands. This keeps all items within reach and NEAT! I have a tendency to want things out of sight so with these baskets everything has it’s place.

Diaper warmer (Prince lionhart) $ 27

diaper warmer
I really wanted to like this warmer. I mean who wouldn’t want a nice, warm tushy wipe after handling their business. I found the actual device to be the problem. It can accommodate close to 60 wipes at a time but by the time we got to wipe number 40, they were no longer moist and the moist pad had   long since dried out. I tried adding a little water to the bottom and it helped in extending the moisture but not for long. In the end, we still use it to hold the wipes but no longer plug it in. Baby girl is used to room temp wipes now.

Diaper ointment (butt paste Boudreaux 16oz $16.99 jar vs Vaseline baby skin protectant $5)

Butt Paste Vs Vaseline

Vaseline wins in our home!! I found the Boudreaux to be messy. I would put it on and found that it was a little difficult to wipe off during the next diaper change. Because it is a little thicker, I tried it at night because she tends to stay in her diapers a little longer. I still didn’t like it. The Vaseline was light and made her skin super soft. I felt comfortable enough to use it in her sensitive areas.

Baby wash (noodle and boo baby wash and lotion $12 for 8 oz vs Burt’s bees baby wash and lotion $8 for 12oz)

Burts Bees Vs Noodle Boo

I found Noodle and Boo to be a little harsh for her. Although it smells amazing, her skin dried out really quickly after prolonged usage. I tried diluting it but that changed the formula and it no longer suds. I want to try it again now that’s she’s getting older and we still have half the bottle left. Burt’s bees is our winner! It’s smells fantastic, leaves no harsh residue (you know the kind that makes the bath rag a little hard) and the lotion is great for after bath massages. Morgan likes those  a lot and has a tendency to put her hands and toes in her mouth soon after. I’m comfortable in knowing that Burt’s bees is a natural product.

That’s all that I have for right now but I’m sure that this will be an ongoing post! We love to try new things and share our opinion. Enjoy!

Philips Avent Express Microwave Sterilizer Review

Avent Sterilizer Avent Sterilizer2

We told you a little while ago that we started using the Avent Bottles when Morgan became a little gassy due to the Kiinde twist bottle system. Any mother knows that with a ton of dirty bottles comes the hassle (did I say that?) of the sterilization process. When I told my grandmother about this 1) she looked at me as it I were nuts 2) asked me what was wrong with a pot and boiling water and 3) proceeded to sterilize all of Morgans bottles.

Seeing as though Grandma doesn’t live with us and Mama is a mama all about convenience I decided to try our bottles namesake the Philips Avent Express Microwave Sterilizer (click name for purchase). Me likey!

It’s super easy. You literally wash the bottle and it’s parts as normal, add water, load into the sterilizer, put in microwave and that’s it. You’re done! So easy even my husband can do it (hi honey!).

Pros- easy to use, sterilizes for a full 24hrs, quick clean up

Cons- makes the bottles a little cloudy. But who cares! Not me.

In the end, I’ve added this to my “list of items to get new moms as a babyshower gift”. At $47.90 a six bottle sterilizer is a win win!