Hellobee

What’s On My Registry

Before starting my registry I was so intimidated. There are so many choices! How do I know what is going to work for Baby P? I scoured Hellobee blog and board posts, got some advice from friends, and managed to put together a list that I was happy with. I wanted to make sure that I had items at a variety of price points and that I didn’t have more than I can use or need.

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1. Chicco Bravo Trio Travel System – After browsing Consumer Reports, Mr. P and I knew we wanted to get the Chicco KeyFit 30 since it’s the #1 rated infant car seat. We test drove the accompanying stroller and loved how easy it is to snap the car seat in and out and how easily it converted to a toddler stroller.

2. We have our eye on a standard Tula baby carrier.

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Six Momtrepreneur Shops

I love supporting small businesses, especially when the business is owned by a mother. I feel like most products designed by moms are more thoughtfully created because they know what it’s like to be a mom! I’ve come across so many great shops on Instagram or read about them from moms I follow on Instagram. I wish I knew about them when I first had Little SB! Here are some of my top picks:

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Fawn Design– The designer started out hand making her amazing diaper backpacks last year. The demand got to be too much so she started a Kick Starter campaign and got funded so that she can make more bags. The backpack diaper bag is made of faux leather, has a wipeable interior, comes with many pockets inside and out, and can be worn either as  a back pack or as a messenger bag. They come in two colors – black and brown. I love how it doesn’t LOOK like a diaper bag!

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Boken Essentials– Made from a light weight water resistant material, the Boken diaper bag is a great unisex bag that’s reasonably priced. It can be worn as a tote, backpack or messenger and comes in six colors!

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Managing Daycare/”School” Transitions for Toddlers

This summer has been an eventful one at the Carrot patch, with perhaps the most exciting development being that Baby C started a new daycare this week!

The Washington D.C. area is notoriously expensive when it comes to daycare, so when we were choosing Baby C’s daycare as she was still in utero, we debated between a center-based daycare and in-home daycare. Ultimately, we decided that in-home daycare would be our best option while Baby C was an infant, because she really just needed to have her basic needs met. We found a wonderful provider and a very comfortable cost, and Baby C has been there since she was 4 months old. After her first birthday, though, we began looking for a more structured environment for her. Baby C is a very quick learner who loves to explore, and her daycare wasn’t providing a lot of activity beyond just open play.

It took us a year but as of this week, Baby C is attending a new daycare right near our house. They have everything we were looking for in a program – NAECY-accredited (the “gold standard” of daycare regulation, which I admit, I’m a bit of a sucker for), fairly affordable (comparatively speaking, for the area), close to home (which saves us a lengthy commute with a feisty toddler in the car), and most of all, they have a broad range of activities that focus primarily on play, but provide a bit of variety as well – art, cooking, dress-up, outside exploration, and beyond.

Baby C is a fairly social kid, but I worried about this transition. She’s only known the same caretakers since she was 4 months old, and she is used to a group of 4-5 kids at most around her. She’s an only child, and so far, we only have a handful of friends who have kids, so her exposure to other children and general structure, like circle time and other guided activity, is minimal. And then, of course, there’s the age factor. Separation anxiety tends to be most acute in toddlers, so even though Baby C is normally not a clingy kid and we’re hopefully at the sunset of that phase, it’s still something we contend with, even at the daycare she’s been used to.

To facilitate Baby C’s transition, we decided to try a few strategies:

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The best water for your home

I’ve always been somewhat of a water aficionado. I swear I could do a blind taste test and know which one was Arrowhead, Dasani and Fiji water! Even though I know it’s safe to drink tap water, I’d been on the Brita filter system for as long as I could remember. However when I got pregnant, my taste buds became pickier. Brita filtered water tasted like metal to me, and Fiji water was by far the best tasting — that was an expensive choice!

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Here I am drinking Fiji water the day Baby Pencil was born!

My mom had been pestering me about getting a nice water filter installed, but I pushed it off for months because we rent our place and I didn’t think it was compatible. But I finally decided to consider the Coway Water filtration system. I had to admit my mom made a good point: there was a baby on the way, and I didn’t even think that I would soon be mixing formula with this type of water.

In the midst of my research of trying to understand their filtration process, my head began to spin. In between Brita and Coway water filters, there are so many more options! Here’s a breakdown of the different types:

Brita Filter
Cost: Around $20 for the pitcher, and $5 per refill to be replaced every 1-2 months or so. (About $50-70 per year.)
Pros: Inexpensive, requires no installation process, easy to understand, easy to replace, you can toss it out when it breaks or get a new one
Cons: Least amount of filtration, mostly gets rid of the taste rather than the actual chemicals, you have to wait for water to drop out the bottom when you run out, you must keep replacing the filters

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The BEACH at The National Building Museum

This week we made it over to Snarkitecture’s architectural installation at DC’s National Building Museum, home of our favorite free play space for children, for their summer ball pit experience known as The BEACH. If you’re in the area I definitely recommend it!

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To be honest when we first walked in I felt a ping of disappointment; all the photos I had seen were so impressive, made it look so expansive and bright, and in my head the entire museum floor had been transformed. It only took a few moments to get into the spirit of things, and I left feeling more impressed by the experience than I had been by those glorious photos.

The surprising thing, the thing I didn’t get in the photographs, was just how deep the ball pits are, and what it feels like to move in them. Grown men and women were jumping off the white turf platform into the “ocean” of recycled plastic translucent balls. You sink down and get stuck and have to be pulled back up. It took Roman a few moments to get comfortable, but by the end he was blissful and giddy, climbing all over my husband, jumping and sinking.

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Hello from the Land of Confetti: Where We’ve Been

Hi guys, remember me? Once upon a time, I had enough free time to sit down, open my computer, and open my heart to all of you fabulous internet strangers (and some non-strangers, of course) who have welcomed me into your lives. Then I had my second baby. And for a while, I kept on typing. Kept on sharing. And then, as life always does, things got busy. Got complicated.

So as I reappear from the archives, I thought I’d start by filling you guys in on what’s been happening at Casa Confetti and why I’ve been so absent:

1) Baby sleep (or lack thereof) is a form of torture. Everyone prepares for those first couple months of sleepless nights with a new baby. And with a toddler at home, the goal of sleeping when the baby sleeps becomes much more elusive. But guys, my children have spent four…make that nearly six months never sleeping at the same time during the day. It has been a constant game of baby whack-a-mole – one down, one up, repeat – since Asher stopped being a drowsy newborn. Making things more difficult, Asher doesn’t ever sleep on the go (like those other magical second kids who just roll with the family’s schedule). He can be pushed to stay up a bit longer than his ideal wake time when necessary, but he will not nap in the car seat or stroller. Ever. We are tip toeing toward the simultaneous nap, just as Colin seems to be toying with the idea of dropping naps entirely (we are 60-40 these days for napping, with quiet time being mandatory even if he doesn’t sleep). While nights have been mostly manageable after 7:30 pm, the evening is when I catch up on cooking, cleaning, catching up on work emails, etc., leaving little time for luxuries like blogging.

My two adorable sleep terrorists
My two adorable sleep terrorists

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Planning and Surviving Travel with 2 Small Children: MAUI

It’s been a rather long time since we’ve gone on a vacation, and we thought, “Hey, why not throw in a flight for our first vacation with two small children? I love chaos!” (said no parent ever). Don’t get me wrong – I feel extremely grateful and fortunate for the opportunity to go to Maui, one of my favorite places on the planet. But the idea of 1) flying and 2) flying into another time zone with two children under the age of five is enough cause for a minor panic attack.

I’m happy to report we all survived and enjoyed (well, at least three of the four of us) the trip! KJ, our 11.5 month old, struggled the most with the time change. Hawaii is three hours behind our current time zone, and so he never really adjusted to the change, which also means he had the easiest adjustment back at home.


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View from our room at the Fairmont Kea Lani Resort

LODGING: Now when we travel as a family, we usually book an apartment or condo through VRBO or AirBnB.  You can find some really great budget and family friendly places to stay, which most often end up being cheaper than staying in a hotel room. With the two little ones, we enjoy having separate rooms and a kitchen to have the option of eating in for breakfast and/or lunches. A number of complexes, such as Wailea Ekahi Village and Wailea Elua, even have direct beach access!

We decided to book our trip for 6 nights, mainly to give ourselves and the kids enough time to adjust, and so that we wouldn’t feel the need to pack in our schedule.

My husband and I had been to Maui a couple of times BC (before children), but not in the last seven years. We have only ever stayed in Wailea/Kihei area, which is on the southwest side of the island. I’ve heard that Kaanapali and Kapalua on the northwest side are great places to stay (especially if you want to golf), and Lahaina, which is on the west side, is also great if you are looking for more night life.

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