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Fourth Trimester Style

I’m one of those people who loved being pregnant. I liked dressing the bump and revelled in the beauty of my body as it grew. I loved that my body had a purpose. I felt like a kid again, growing more every month and feeling proud of that growth.

Post-birth, I’m learning to embrace the “fourth trimester” and my post-baby body. I’m breastfeeding, so maternity style has been replaced with breastfeeding style, and I’m two months postpartum now, so I’m trying to dress in a flattering way that doesn’t prompt any questions from strangers wondering if I’m just recently pregnant. I don’t know about other places in the world, but this is a much more common question in Thailand than you’d expect!

We also like to take our daughter out and show her the natural and built environments she was born into. Plus we want to soak up all of our time living here, so I need to be able to feed her on the go. This has led me in search of breastfeeding-friendly wardrobe.

Just like moving houses is a great time to purge your home, a changing body is a great time to rethink and simplify your wardrobe. I loved pulling all my pre-pregnancy clothes out of storage and essentially shopping in my own closet, creating a new wardrobe from my old items, discarding things I didn’t want to wear again, and then getting a few new basics that were a better fit for my new curves.

My closet. i'm a big fan of prints!

My closet. I’m a big fan of prints!

Here are some similar items to my new go-to’s:

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Healthy Breakfast & Snack Ideas My Picky Toddler Will Always Gobble Up

You know how before you have your first child you read all these books and think “THAT’S the kind of mom I’m going to be.” Or you see a kid throwing a tantrum in public and the parent loses their cool, and you think, “Nah, that’ll never be me. I’m sooooo level headed in a crisis.” As parents, we know better now. I pretty much mock my pre-parent self on a daily basis.

Pre-baby, Mr. Cotton Candy and I listened to the audiobook version of Bringing Up Bebe and loved author Pamela Druckerman’s take on French parenthood, and especially her ideas about feeding little ones in such as a way as to create these magical eaters who love all foods and can identify different types of cheese from the womb. Well, the universe is laughing at us now, as we have so far managed to raise a picky toddler.

Some things he won’t eat?

  • macaroni and cheese
  • grilled cheese sandwich
  • quesadilla
  • any topping besides cheese on a slice of pizza
  • any food that is mixed in with another food
  • hot dogs
  • hamburgers
  • tacos with anything besides guacamole in them
  • eggs, unless they are cooked by his dad
  • pretty much any vegetable unless it is a carrot, tomato, or bell pepper

But a kid’s gotta eat, right? I have managed to find and create some healthful snack and breakfast ideas that Little Cotton Candy can’t say no to.

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Tissue Paper Art-Two Ways

I am by no means under the impression that this will be first time you’ve seen this type of art project (it’s even been featured here on Hellobee. It’s definitely a classic! However, I wanted to bring this one out and blow off the dust a little, and remind you about all of the educational benefits that can come from such a simple project! I’ve done tissue paper art many times with children at work, but this was the first time that I had done it with Mini Pbj and she loved it!

Tissue Paper Art Learnings

  • fine motor skills
  • color names and recognition
  • matching
  • pattern creation and recognition
  • sorting

The main ingredient for this project is obviously tissue paper pieces! I just happened to be lucky enough to find a package of pre-cut tissue paper squares at a dollar store and I snatched them up! You can totally just snip (or rip) up your own though. If you have an older toddler or preschooler have them snip their own paper into pieces. Even more learning and fun!

supplies needed

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8 Ways I Make Me Time

I don’t take enough time for myself even though I want to, but then one of the kids needs me for something and I just forget that I was trying to get some relief. It’s one of those really hard balancing acts when you are a parent, trying to be a good mom, while still being able to be you. I do not have it figured out at all, and I sometimes even feel like I have completely lost who I am. I know that a lot of parents deal with this, but it is really hard to talk about.

I am busy with work, school, keeping the house clean and organized, and of course taking care of the kids. It leaves very little time for me to be able to even go for a walk alone, but I am trying harder now to take some time to relax or to unwind alone. One of the things that you don’t realize before you become a parent is how awesome being alone is. I don’t mean alone forever, but having some time to sit and read a book, or call a friend, or have a pedicure. I have to consciously make time and schedule activities to get some me time. I have few outside activities right now.

1) I started playing softball in a women’s D league. We are not good, the competition is not good. But it is really fun. I get two hours once a week to get out of the house and do something athletic. I love the ladies on my team and I feel refreshed after a game.

2) Pedicures with friends. I love pedicures. They are seriously the best! I also love a clean, fresh set of painted toenails. This is great when I have a little extra money. I can go on a Saturday and meet some friends and come back feeling calmer and happy.

3) Paint and Wine classes. I have a wonderful sister-in-law who takes painting classes with me. We are terrible at painting, but we have a lot of fun. It is kind of pricey, so we have to space these out a bit, but it’s 3 hours of time that I can focus just on the painting and catching up with my SIL.

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Kidchella Themed Party

I have two friends who threw a joint “Kidchella” themed party for their 2-year-old daughters. It was one of the cutest and most brilliantly done parties. The most important set up was the teepee, which is already the most adorable area toddlers can play in! My friend just made it herself using simple steps found on Pinterest. They added some cute rugs and blankets, put on some bubbles and let all the kids sit around.

This adorable "kidchella" themed birthday party is so creative and cute! There are so many great ideas here for your next children's party!

For activities, they had a bounce house, water tables, and rented the clubhouse right by a pool so that everyone could cool off from the heat.

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Our Favorite Healthy Store Bought Snacks

While we try to make sure that the kids eat healthy and prefer to pack fresh fruits, vegetables and home cooked meals for their lunches (leftovers from the previous night’s dinner usually), their daycare asks that we have extra non-perishable snacks for them, too, in case they’ve refused their meal or when they need an extra snack. Often, it’s also easier to grab a package on the way out the door for our weekend outings rather than preparing food in advance. Here are some of our preferred, non-perishable, healthier store-bought snacks for the kids:

healthy snacks

1-5) Freeze Dried Fruit/Vegetables: We love unsweetened freeze dried fruit. We initially got them from Trader Joe’s, but they have since become extremely popular and we see them everywhere now.  Our favorites from Trader Joe’s are the 1) strawberries, 2) raspberries and 3) bananas (other brands make them, but the ones from Trader Joe’s were Lion’s favorites). Blueberries get messy very quickly so we stopped buying them. Lion also likes the apple slices, but it’s not his favorite brand. You can purchase them on Amazon, but if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, they’re much cheaper at between $3 to $3.50/bag.

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Leota Dress Giveaway!

Leota has some of the most stylish and comfortable maternity dresses around that flatter your bump and are perfect for maternity shoots. It’s no wonder Nordstroms carries the line! No worries if you’re not pregnant, their classic and fun prints are also available in women’s, girls, and full figured sizes. And today we’re giving away a Leota dress which retails over $150 to one lucky winner!

Leota

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While you wait to see if you won, you can use discount code “BEE” through the end of the month to get 25% off any purchase at Leota!

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