Greyson James: 11 Month Update

Greyson James: 11 Month Update | |

Somehow this year with Greyson is seemingly flying by. Just next month this kid is turning one and when everyone says time flies by…they’re right. I can easily remember just yesterday going into labor, being admitted to the hospital amidst contractions, and delivering this sweet baby boy after 15hrs. I remember bringing him home for the first time and not being able to sleep because all I wanted to do is stand over him and watch him. To smell his breath and see him smile while dreaming, oh those are the simple memories that I will cherish forever. I have one more month to really take in all infancy has to offer before this boy of mine is off.

Date: February 10, 2017
Weight: 24.2 lbs

Celebrated: me walking now! I first began pulling myself up onto the couch or table then made my first few steps walking to Mommy while Daddy videotaped. After a week or so of practicing I’ve gotten really good at standing, balancing, and walking almost 100% of the time on my own – although I do like holding onto Mommy’s finger.

I also watched the Super Bowl for the first time and loved Lady Gaga’s halftime show! Last year I was in Mommy’s tummy so it was exciting to see and hear everyone clapping and shouting at the TV.

Greyson James: 11 Month Update | |


Enjoys: walking, reading my picture books (my favorite being Pout Pout Fish!), walking outside, rides in the car or stroller, and playing hide-and-go-seek. I also love going to My Gym now where I get to play with babies my age and learn new skills and strengthen the ones I know. I have also learned to clap my hands and find any reason to show others – especially when you tell me I’m doing a good job at something! I also love to dance – put any music on and I’m hopping away to the beat! Oh, and tunnels are my favorite thing to play with. I love crawling through small spaces like under tables and the recliner.

Food: I love food! At mealtimes Mommy and Daddy eat (relatively) the same thing as me now that I am eating more table foods. Whenever it’s mealtime they also feed me what they’re eating since I’m most interested in that anyways. I love trying new things and there’s yet to be a food that I’ve had that I don’t like.

*He’s been funny about carrots lately, but I haven’t given up and I feel as though that’s half the battle for parents. I never wanted to give up on a food, especially a vegetable, just because he didn’t want to eat it. All I do is mash them and mix them into foods he does like like applesauce or another vegetable. He eats them with no problems these days! Eventually we’ll work back to eating them by themselves.

Dislikes: changing my diaper, having something I want taken away, or being put in my crib when I don’t want to be. I also love talking on FaceTime with my grandparents, but I don’t like it when Mommy won’t let me hold the phone while doing so. Sometimes when I’m seated at the table (or even out in public) if I don’t get something, typically a snack, right away I have a tendency to scream really loud. Mommy and Daddy are trying to teach me to use a small voice when inside or in public – good luck!

Milestones: I am beginning to mimic the sounds I hear most often and there are so many words and phrases now I have come to know and understand. I love to knock things over, make loud sounds by hitting tabletops or pots and pans, and I love flipping through my favorite books. I can begin to bend over to pick something up while standing or even recover myself if I get too much of a head start when walking.

Learning: to be more independent. I still have a bit of separation anxiety, but slowly I’m working towards being without Mommy and Daddy (perhaps a weekly babysitter is in order). I’m also learning new boundaries now that I am walking and move much faster than ever before!

This is also going to be a time of transition for Greyson who is going to have to be parting ways with his Wubbanub pretty soon. I’ve begun to limit daytime use so that it doesn’t interfere with his speech or language development. He uses it most when he has it at nap time and bedtime so the next phase will be to limit it during those times and I know it won’t be terribly fun for him to be without it. If anyone has any tips or tricks to weaning him off of his pacifier I’m all ears!

Next month is a busy one for us in the Daniel household. We’re gearing up for a trip back to my hometown with everyone in tow, which is going to be fun considering the six hour flight time (sense sarcasm here?). Traveling, any distance, can be tiring but my hope is that Greyson is just as much a great flier as he was when we went to Texas. Because of that experience I have come to the realization that his sleep schedule is going to be off, the time difference may mess with him, but to just roll with the punches the best I can. At the end of the day he’ll get time with his grandparents and the many aunties and uncles, which is all worth it!

Greyson James: 11 Month Update | |

Greyson James: 11 Month Update | |

Greyson James: 11 Month Update | |

Greyson James: 11 Month Update | |

Greyson James: 11 Month Update | |

Greyson James: 10 Month Update
Greyson James: 9 Month Update
Greyson James: 8 Month Update
Greyson James: 7 Month Update
Greyson James: 6 Month Update
Greyson James: 5 Month Update
Greyson James: 4 Month Update
Greyson James: 3 Month Update
Greyson James: 2 Month Update
Greyson James: 1 Month Update
Birth Story

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Holiday #adulting Inspiration | Gift Cards

Holiday #adulting Inspiration | Gift Cards | |

Tis the season for holiday shopping! Although our hearts are pretty full this year with Greyson’s arrival and celebrating his first holiday season, our Christmas lists are looking a bit different than previous years. This year it’s all about the #adulting going on and preparing for the bigger days that lie before us. Yes, are there little things here and there I’d love to receive like a programmable coffee maker (because I’m a new mom with a kid who has discovered crawling and coffee is an essential food group) or a subscription to The Magnolia Journal magazine (because, Joanna Gains). However, the next best thing for us are gift cards.

Gift cards typically get a bad rap as a gift because they come off as impersonal and give the impression that the giver didn’t put much thought into it. I couldn’t agree AND disagree more. However, I’ve realized over the course of the year that these days gift cards would be the perfect gift for my husband and I. At the end of the day most of our resources go into the baby and making sure he has everything he needs – especially considering his needs change the more he grows and develops new skills! There’s toys, books, baby gear (oh, my!) or food, diapers, and baby proofing items. Meanwhile, there are a few places that we shop as a family and receiving gift cards to those places allow us to purchase what we need without the hassle of gift receipts, wrong sizes, and the dreaded customer service dept.

So, if you’re like me and are being asked what you’d like to receive for Christmas and can’t think of anything off the top of your head, here are a few gift card inspirations to get you started.

Holiday #adulting Inspiration | Gift Cards | |

Magnolia Market

This is an obvious choice for me considering no one can go wrong gifting me anything from this website. It’s almost hard to narrow down specific things so a gift card makes it easy for my friends and family to get me something I’d be happy to use! Finding out what retailer your friends or family regularly shop at and giving them a gift card will be one of the easiest, and well-received, gift you could give this year.

Stitch Fix

I absolutely love using Stitch Fix, especially as a new mom and not getting out to shop all that often. It’s something I already use and with a styling fee of only $20 it makes it an affordable gift card to purchase. So, if you’re looking to get someone in your life something fun, or someone you know loves fashion, Stitch Fix would be a great place to start!

*affiliate links used.

Subscription services like these help relieve some of the stress of everyday chores or can be just for fun. You could also look into food delivery services, like Blue Apron, too. We loved trying it out and would make for a great gift for any new parents or foodie friends of yours. Another great delivery service I have used (prior to pregnancy) was Naked Wines. It an amazing service for the wino in your life because not only does it benefit local winemakers in CA, it is an affordable option too!

Sur La Table

My husband and I love to cook and are always looking for fun new toys to add to our kitchen. There’s so many things we’d love to replace, too. Having a gift card to a kitchenwares store allows us to pick up something fun or needed that the giver may not be aware of. I also love that Sur La Table also offers cooking classes, which would be a fun date night! Just always check to see if there’s one located nearby the person you’re gifting it to.


All you have to do is a search on my blog using this keyword to find just how much I love Etsy. Finding the perfect handmade item either for myself or as a gift to others is so easy. Plus, I love supporting small businesses and friends who own their own shops. There’s just something so fun about having unique pieces around ones home. I love browsing and finding cute knick-knacks or jewelry. Shopping Etsy I’m oftentimes paying less than what I would find in a chain store for items like candles, knitted items, home decor, etc.

*affiliate links used.

Lowe’s | Costco

Knowing we will be moving in the spring has me thinking ahead and planning for the purchases we’ll need/want to make for our new home. We will be moving to a larger apartment in our complex and with a bigger patio space. I already have my Pinterest boards filled with patio/living inspirations and a gift card to Lowe’s or Home Depot will help me make our new space feel more like ours.

Costco Cash is a great gift card for any family and especially ours. We love stocking up on basics like TP, paper towels, and toiletries such as shampoo, things we cook with all the time like oil, garlic, and meats like chicken and beef, as well as wine or liquor and various other things like cleaners or toothbrushes. Having a gift card to Costco will definitely help us out making those necessary purchases on our once a month trips.

Babies R Us

A Babies R Us gift card will be beneficial to any new parent out there because let’s face it, we’re all making that trip at least once a month…at least. I love shopping in-store as well as online and there’s the incentive with their benefits program, too. I love browsing the aisles because you’re able to find practically everything you need versus shopping at Target.


This is another obvious no brainer and needs no further explanation 😉

Kirkland’s | Pottery Barn | Crate & Barrel

Home decor is my life and a gift card to a few of my favorite shops helps me satisfy those cravings. And again, these gift cards will help us later on when we move so I don’t feel completely bad for spending money on our new place.

So let’s end the shame in giving gift cards this year! They end up being wonderful gifts, especially to new parents, and I couldn’t be more excited if I were to receive one. It really allows us to shop for the things we truly need and takes the guess work out of the equation for the person giving it. Are you a fan of gift cards? What gift cards would you love to receive this holiday season?

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Motherhood, Marriage & Ways To Maintain Both

Motherhood, Marriage & Ways To Maintain Both ||

First comes love, then comes marriage, then…down the road and a couple years later when you’re somewhat financially stable and settled from your move across the country you take a vacation and here comes baby.

Well, it at least worked out that way for us.

My husband and I were very open with each other about family and our desire to have children – eventually. We looked forward to when we would become parents and couldn’t wait for that next season of our lives together. Now, as we parent our eight month old and sit in reflection of it all, our marriage has changed a bit. It’s to be expected and a tad unavoidable; and not so much in a bad way, but just different as we find ourselves with a new circumstance within our union.

Speaking for myself, I have found I am quite picky about how to care for our son. Brand new things annoy me that never bothered me before, after spending all day at home with a constant teething son my patience has dropped significantly, and overall I just have my way of doing things at home and with Greyson.

However, I’ve learned that there’s a way to preserve the relationship you have as a wife and mother that leaves room for yourself too…

Keeping my husband my #2 in our marriage.

Not number one? Hear me out.

One of the biggest worries my husband had right before Greyson arrived home was that I would give my son more attention than him; that he would be bumped to the bottom of the totem pole in our family. However, that couldn’t be farther than the truth. My belief is simply that God comes first, my husband second, and my child(ren) third. Keeping that in mind has allowed my husband and I’s relationship to become stronger even having our little Greyson around. Having God first allows His word and teachings to guide my life and marriage, which affects who I am as a woman and wife to my husband, and thus a reflective living example onto our son.

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Proverbs 3:6

I’ve personally seen how strained a marriage can become when one partner, typically the mother, becomes more affectionate or wrapped up in their child over their spouse. I love my son so much and I would love nothing more than to dedicate all of my waking hours to him, but there are other people (and responsibilities) that demand my affections and time as well. Learning to balance baby and my husband have proven to keep our marriage as strong as ever and (hopefully) keeping my husband feeling loved and attended to.

Continued time for each other without baby.

Time was precious even when we didn’t have kids and now that we have Greyson it’s vital in our marriage that we make sure to spend quality time with each other. These days our time is divided up between my husband and his work, taking care of our Murphy (our pup), and caring for the baby. That leaves just a smidge of time for each other and it’s so important we make the effort to resume our relationship even with the addition of the baby.

We’ve gone wine tasting, to happy hour, dinner, and enjoy snuggling up to an episode of Game of Thrones – all with baby in tow (follow our adventures on Instagram). To us, that’s our new normal and I’m thankful I have a husband who stretches himself to make time for his needs as well as the needs of his family. Our alone time is equally important as it is us, the two adults, that form our marriage and time away from the baby helps remind us we’re more than just parents.

“In every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude.”
Acts 24:3

Making time for intimacy in our marriage.

Oh, sex. Getting back on this proverbial horse was a difficult one for me. Not because I didn’t miss being intimate with my husband, but for what sex would be like after healing from a vaginal delivery. Things shifted bit down there, breastfeeding makes things interesting, and it was is definitely painful. Connecting with my husband again in that way just makes me feel so much more in love with him even amidst the diapers, spit-up, and tiresome nights. Never mind the scent of breast milk that lingers between my boobs #justsaying – nonetheless, it’s intimacy that keeps us grounded as husband and wife.

Talking about sex…

Besides, you know your husband deep down can’t wait for this day either and talking with him about your feelings on the subject definitely alleviates any kind of pressure or self-consciousness going in. Just because your doctor may give you the go-ahead after 6 weeks doesn’t mean you’re ready – I know I wasn’t. However, discussing how I was feeling and making sure to affirm my husband in other ways kept our bond strong within our marriage and made those more intimate nights special.

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs.”
1 Corinthians 7:3 NLT

Which brings us to…


Having a baby can definitely make or break a marriage due to the newfound stress, sleepless nights, and new roles in which each person plays. I have always prided our marriage on my husband and I’s ability to talk and discuss what’s on our mind. Even if the conversations are uncomfortable or deal with hurt feelings. Ensuring we’re both on the same page about the baby helps us discuss what’s on our minds. Even if it’s about my husband’s habit of throwing soiled diapers on the floor when changing the baby instead of using the Diaper Genie, which is this innovative little contraption that is designed just for soiled diapers. But, you know.

Don’t let new mommy stress take control…

Maintaining your communication is so important, but it’s also in how you communicate too. Being up with the baby at night or during the day can cause a new mom to be stressed out by the time dad gets home from work. Words can be said and tones can become snappy, but try to keep in mind the day your husband may have had and how excited he is to be home with his family – just to clock into another full time job: parenting.

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
Ephesians 4:29 NLT

Learning to let go of the control.

This one is important for me as the mother. I was watching a documentary on Netflix the other day called The Beginning of Life and there’s a portion of the film in which new dads comment about having a baby and their care-taking dynamic versus that of their wives. They talk about how they are less likely to help out with certain things because their wives do it a certain way and they’d just rather let them do it. Not because they don’t want to participate in caring for their child, but because they perceive they won’t “do it the right way.” The irony is we all know there is no real right way to care for a baby.

Allow husbands and fathers to figure out this parenting thing on their own with little intervention from us moms. It’s no secret that I definitely have a way of caring and doing things for Greyson that differs from my husband’s and I just need to learn to let him care for our son. No matter what form that may look like (see diaper story above). I am guilty of trying to have him conform to how I do things, but the fact of the matter is I don’t want my husband to feel inadequate or feel like he needs to get my approval on how to do things as a father. Because after all, I do need his help and am grateful for his role in Greyson’s life.

You’re already fantastic parents…

Parenthood, especially as new parents, is a journey and one in which can switch from exhausting to exciting as quickly as your little one’s temperament. Just remember that you and your spouse are on the same team and if you can survive infancy you’re all set for toddlerhood and beyond. Just keep these few things in mind as your cross the threshold together…I’ll let you know how it goes for us 😉

Motherhood, Marriage & Ways To Maintain Both | It IS possible to maintain both your identity as a mother and wife. Here are a few ways I’ve been able to stay sane within the first three months of being a mom. ||

Until then, any words of wisdom for maintaining your sense of self as a mother and wife to share?

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Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms

Being a mom it’s all about finding and sticking to those baby products that are tried and true, safe, and practical for our minimal lifestyle. Living minimally has not only changed my outlook on ‘stuff’, but it’s allowed me to cut out the clutter and really invest in items for the home that have multiple purposes whether it be furniture, clothing, or anything in-between. My husband is the true minimalist; I only adopted it after we moved in together years ago. I’ll be honest: it was a difficult transition to make considering my single-hood allowed me to collect all sorts of things without anyone telling me, “do you really need that?” However, over the past few years I’ve really come to appreciate living minimally because it’s given our home purpose and free from the accumulation of uneccesary things.

Insert baby and thus the real challenge began. As any new mom does, I quickly created a baby registry and found myself overwhelmed by the number of things that are out there; do I really need a ‘pee-pee teepee’ and why are there a zillion different types of bottles or pacifiers? Has America overcomplicated parenting?

Regardless, we stuck with purchasing the necessary items first such as a carseat (you can’t take the baby home without one) and crib and what we didn’t receive as gifts we waited until Greyson arrived to find out what we really needed. Living in a one bedroom apartment, it doesn’t really allow for frivolous baby spending and acquiring so being smart about what truly was a ‘must-have’ was crucial. Thanks to The Baby Cubby for reaching out and allowing me this opportunity to share with you my baby gear must-haves for those fellow minimalist moms out there.

Thank you to The Baby Cubby for allowing me this opportunity to share their wonderful products with you. Although I received product in exchange for this review, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine

One: Baby Jogger City Mini GT – Single

One item that can be essential for parents, or the SAHM like me, is a stroller that has all-terrain wheels such as this Baby Jogger City Mini GT stroller. Often times I want to take Greyson for a walk on gravel, dirt paths, or anything that isn’t a smooth paved road and our current stroller doesn’t quite allow me to do that. A jogger is a worthwhile investment for those mamas who are looking to get out of the house.

Two: Stokke Flexi-Bath – White

The concept for this foldable bathtub is pure genius and one item I couldn’t wait to receive. When Greyson first came home and began giving him baths we loved using our 4Moms Infant Tub. Flash forward to my now seven month old he was in need for a new tub. I literally had spent days trying to find either a chair for our bathtub or invest in the popular suction mats – but I wasn’t in love with either option. Then I found that Baby Cubby carries a foldable bath tub just for my little guy, which he could use up until 4 years old. OMG baby bathtub jackpot.

I love that I don’t waste water, it’s easily cleaned and stored after every use, has rubber lining for a non-slip grip, and not to mention, transportable! Quite possibly the best baby product we have yet.

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |

The grey lining is a non-slip rubber which securely seats my son. There is also a water line that rings the tub which tells you the proper amount to fill it.

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |

Stokke Foldable Baby Tub | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |

Three: Maxi-Cosi 2015 Pria 70 Convertible Carseat

A convertible carseat a serious must-have only because you want to invest in baby gear that will last you more than just a few months. The AAP just released a new recommendation that children should be rear facing until at least 2 years of age whereas the common practice was 1 years old. This is important for any mom and investing in a carseat that can grow with your child is crucial and, not to mention, budget-friendly.

Four: Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Crib Sheet – Forrest Friends

I absolutely adore this fitted crib sheet not only because it comes in such a cute woodland theme but that it’s 100% cotton muslin. That’s right. The same fabric as many of my swaddle blankets!

Little Unicorn Muslin Fitted Crib Sheet | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms ||

Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Fitted Crib Sheet - Forrest Friends | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |

Five: Oeuf Sparrow Crib – White

When looking for the perfect crib we had a few non-negotiables: it had to be sturdy and safe, convert into a toddler bed, and come in a white finish to go with the rest of his nursery decor. Baby Cubby’s Oeuf Sparrow Crib fulfills each of those preferences and more. I love the contemporary look and the fact that it is made sustainably in Europe with non-toxic finishes. Best yet, it is a convertible crib so it can grow with your child – worth the investment.

Six: Bebe au Lait Nursing Cover – La Jolla

A consideration for all breastfeeding mamas out there is to determine which kind of nursing cover works for you. I personally received a scarf cover and I love it for different reasons. However, having a cover such as this one allows for breathability and ventilation for baby. I did find that the nursing cover I had made Greyson stuffy so if I could go back in time and make the switch I would opt for this open neckline!

Seven: 4Moms MamaRoo

I absolutely love the brand 4Moms because they’re exactly that: for moms. I feel as though their designs and innovations for baby gear is in line with what real moms need and babies expect. I can’t speak highly enough of our MamaRoo swing because it sways and moves just like we would if we were holding Greyson. He loved it as a newborn and it provided some relief for me as a new mom too. I would place him in it and set it to whichever movement he enjoyed at the moment and would place it next to the sofa so I could catch a few zzz’s while falling asleep to reruns of Catfish #truelife. I used their newborn insert (sold separately) then took it out once Grey grew enough to fit in the swing on his own. Such a great investment.

4Moms MamaRoo | Baby Gear Must-Haves For Minimalist Moms |

Eight: Owlet Baby Monitor

If there is one product out there that is hands down the most worthy of an investment it’s Owlet Baby Care and their monitor.  If you didn’t know, an owlet is the term for a baby owl and considering owls are nocturnal (meaning they’re awake at night) it makes for the perfect baby monitor metaphor. It is a brand that boasts peace of mind and it couldn’t be further than the truth. I’ve been able to sleep soundly at night because my base station glows a slight pulsing green, which tells me my son has healthy and normal vital signs. It helps protect parents against SIDS in that it will notify you if your child’s heart rate or oxygen levels are below normal – just watch the testimonial videos if you need convincing. It’s an investment, but I would happily invest in my son’s wellbeing. I’d be happy to talk with you more in the comments if you have any questions about our experience with Owlet.

Nine: Skip Hop Chelsea Downtown Chic Backpack

If I could go back and redecide on a proper diaper bag it would hands down be a backpack. We are a family on-the-go and it’s important that Greyson’s things are as well. If it’s not weekend getaways it’s simple evenings out to dinner and we’ve found that it’s important that we save on space and really consider the things Greyson would need while we’re away from the house. A backpack is a wonderful alternative to a traditional diaper bag and, for minimalists, it only provides enough space to truly take what’s necessary and allow for the convenience of carrying it on your back.

So what makes The Baby Cubby so great and different from any other baby retailer? And why am I sharing them with you today? Well, it’s pretty simple actually…

When I was approached by them I couldn’t help but peruse through their website and social media and I was amazed at what I found. I was encouraged to actually engage with them as a new mom versus just shopping from them. The best part is that they not only have an in-store experience, but they offer their customers multiple ways to get involved in the conversation through their blog, social media, and their website. Parenthood can be overwhelming at times and it’s nice to know that The Baby Cubby is there as a resource for me and other moms around the country – because they are parents. Sometimes it’s helpful to have your village be there for you; even if it’s online. I urge all of you to check them out and discover for yourself what I love so much about this brand!

Linking up with Momfessionals, Diary of a Real Housewife, and Sept-Farm

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