Charlotte’s Newborn Photos

When Charlotte was 9 days old, we drove to our friend and photographer’s house to have her newborn photos taken. Leeann has never let us down, and it’s always a pleasure getting to work with her! We usually have our photos taken on location, like at a park or in a studio, but since this was informal and we’re friends, we took these in Leeann’s house.

Newborn photos are best taken when baby is sleepy, and of course Charlotte slept the entire way to Leeann’s home and then was wide awake. It took me a while to nurse her and calm her down. Chloe was patient the entire time, thankfully, because these photos took longer than we expected! We got to play with Leeann’s daughter, too, which was great!

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The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Homemade Baby Food

For both K and D we used a combination of baby-led weaning and homemade purees. K was done with purees when he turned 1, but D isn’t as coordinated with chewing or picking up food, so we’ll probably keep spoon feeding him some meals for a while! I’ve learned a lot of shortcuts through all this experience. Here are my gear recommendations and basic recipe!

1. A blender. We were gifted the baby bullet which works fine, I like that it’s smaller and comes with the cute jars with screw tops – great for traveling.

2. Ice cube trays with lids. After blending the food, I keep some for fresh use and freeze the rest. My set has survived about a year of nearly constant use (6m with K, 6m+ with D), and it’s still going strong! I just run the trays under hot water and the cubes come out easily.

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13 ways to Treat a Child’s Cough

Charlie has had a cough over the past week, but last night it turned into a fever, congestion, sore throat and a cough so bad that he threw up three times. I wrote about some of my favorite products to treat coughs and colds here, but I thought that I would share my step by step process for treating coughs. Since cough medicine isn’t approved for younger children, there are many different things I try to give the kids relief.

1) If a fever is present, I administer ibuprofen. I personally prefer ibuprofen over acetaminophen (for myself and the kids) because it tends to be more powerful and it is also easier on the liver.

2) Feed soft foods like bone broth, chicken porridge, steamed egg and ice cream that are easy on the throat and stomach. If they’re not eating much, you can try smoothies. Keep them hydrated with lots of liquids.

3) Simmer a pot of water with a couple drops of eucalyptus oil all day to ease congestion.

4) Give honey water if your little one is over the age of 1 to treat coughs and sore throats. I warm up water and stir in a little bit of honey — the kids love it. I’ve also made honey lollipops by melting honey on the stove then pouring it over lollipop sticks. If you can get them to take it, apple cider vinegar is the absolute best treatment for coughs and sore throats, but it really tastes horrible.

5) Eliminate dairy. It can increase mucous production, and since I caught the same cold from him, I know that it’s a very phlegmy cold.

6) Eat pureed pear. This is a traditional Korean and Chinese remedy that is used to treat colds and coughs. Simmer Asian pears with water, a bit of honey, and freshly grated ginger (Korean recipe) or almonds (Chinese recipe). It’s supposed to be great for soothing a cough, and my mom swears by it!

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A Joyce Wan themed birthday

I wanted to keep Winter’s first birthday relatively simple. We have at least one barbeque each summer that usually coincides with my own birthday (two days after Winter’s!), so we just tied it into Winter’s birthday party. I honestly wasn’t planning on doing anything big, but after being asked several times what my “theme” would be, and shrugging my shoulders and saying – “Winter’s favorite things?” – I decided it would involve her favorite author, Joyce Wan. I drew up a little graphic in her style and made a banner for a facebook invite. I decided that if I had time, I would try and incorporate Joyce Wan’s designs into wearable hats for the adults, since Winter smiles the biggest smiles each time we read her You Are My Cupcake or We Belong Together, consistently since she was about 6 months. I was hoping that wearing a giant familiar cupcake on my head would elicit a great, toothy grin.

In my search for more illustrations, I came to Joyce’s blog and was utterly heartbroken to read that her only child, born in February of this year, passed away unexpectedly 6 weeks later from an undetected intestinal abnormality. I tear up a little each time I revisit her blog. Unrelated to the passing, her daughter was born with a cleft lip and cleft palate (very medically fixable in the US and not life-compromising by any means). She set up a memorial fund with Smile Train, an international children’s charity that provides free surgery to poor children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. Since we had asked for no gifts, I thought this fund would be the perfect opportunity to give our guests a chance to donate.

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“Little Explorer, Adventure Nursery” Inspiration (Part 1)

1st row: via JoJos Room, via Syrinveien, via Glamour 2nd row: via the bean and the bearvia Poppytalk, wall sticker no longer available from Fermliving (mural inspiration!)

With a second baby on the way, our little family will soon (November 1st) be relocating to a two bedroom home! We haven’t actually found a place as of yet, but decided that our one bedroom city apartment wasn’t going to cut it anymore. The most exciting part of this move, is of course, finally getting to decorate a real nursery! A gender neutral nursery for two! I decided we’ll call it their “little explorer, adventure nursery.”

While pregnant with Roman I became obsessed with bow ties… and teepees (as you can see.) At 6 months I broke down and bought this House Inhabit Teepee which we just love! Now I’m excited about the idea of painting a simple mountain mural behind it in the new room. Since we rent and move frequently we never usually paint the walls, but this project looks simple enough to make an exception!

In our current apartment below we created a little “nursery nook” for Roman, so the new room will be an expanded version of this!

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Chinese Books

Drake will be starting Chinese school this month. I never thought I would be signing up my own child for Chinese school to be honest, as I hated it as a kid and swore up and down I would never make my child go. But truthfully now that I am older, I see the value in making sure my children understand a little more about their culture, especially as I am the last to be able to pass this on once my mother is gone. What I really hope that Drake gets out of Chinese school is the ability to converse a little with me, and to come to know and appreciate his heritage. My own Chinese is quite poor — I can neither read or write — and my conversational skills are limited at about a kindergarten level. I really have no idea how Drake will fare at Chinese school with my inability to really help him.

I have looked into some basic Chinese books for beginners that we can look at and learn together. Ni Hao Kai Lan has made him aware of Chinese and that words sound different in another language, and I hope he takes that curiosity and interest with him when he begins Chinese school.

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What You Should Buy At J Crew Factory, Right Now

We really love J Crew in our home, for very specific things when they go on sale – because it’s just not always in my price range. But they also have their Factory store. The prices are much cheaper and the styles are usually one off’s from the actual J Crew store. So you often you can grab a similar style but maybe it’s made in a different color, fabric or a slightly different fit – it’s basically the budget friendly version of J Crew. Here are a bunch of my current J Crew Factory favorites, which also happen to be on sale 30% off if you use SALE30 (which is good till Sept. 23rd!).

no.1 baseball blouse – no.2 two tone sweater – no.3 baseball cap – no.4 striped button-up tank – no.5 bomber jacket – no.6 pleated midi – no.7 waffle cowl scarf - no.8 zip baseball sweater – no.9 paisley tee

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