traveling with little ones

We have traveled with our little ones quite a bit. Sawyer is barely 8 months old and he’s already been on four flights! We really have tried to make traveling part of our lives as parents even though it can be more challenging with kids. A lot more challenging! I always think of something Jordan of Oh Happy Day said when thinking about taking our kids on a trip. The gist of it was that traveling with kids is not as fun as traveling with all adults BUT it sure beats staying at home all the time! A-men, Jordan.

I feel like every trip we take we downgrade what we bring. Our first couple of trips back home to Texas we’d be schlepping a million things through the airport! Car seats, a pack n play, large luggage, carry ons, a big stroller, along with our kids. It was SUCH a production just getting to the airport! My husband is somewhat of a bag aficionado so he’s been looking at Tom Bihn bags for a while. I started watching videos on their website and was blown away by how much they could fit in their different bags. The type A in me was all googly eyed over the organizational aspect! It totally changed the way I thought about packing!

For our trip to Texas we brought more than we will on our Ireland trip but we still only checked one bag (along with our car seats). I’ll tell more about our international packing/car seat/traveling in a future post — some tips will be the same, some will be different.

  1. Bring luggage that helps you be as hands free as possible. When you have little kids, it makes traveling so much harder when don’t have hands to help kid A with this, kid B with her backpack, or wipe kid C’s spit off off his mouth without putting everything down and picking it back up. It’s seriously exhausting! We both carried an Aeronaut 45 on our backs and just look at how much I was able to fit in mine! I love the organizational cubes. Honestly, I could’ve fit even more than this! 
  2. If your kids are old enough, get each a backpack to carry on the plane full of snacks and activities. In the past we’ve used whatever backpack we had around the house but this time we got a Sprout pack for each of the older kids and they are amazing! We filled them with tons of activities, iPads, snacks, “babies” and there was still room for more, they were just getting too heavy. When they get older they’ll be able to carry even more!
  1. This goes along with #2 but pack their bags with their favorite activities, snacks, candies they don’t usually get to eat. For us, most rules at home go out the window while traveling. We are in survival mode! We pack iPads for each of them, temporary tattoos (with a rag in a plastic bag), stickers, a notepad for each, a dry erase board, and a small game. When Holden was younger we brought little boxes of nerds because he would eat them one by one and it would take FOREVER for him to eat them, it was fantastic.
  2. For babies, pack more than you think you’ll need for the plane. One time I was heading home and before we even made it half way to Texas, Sawyer had pooped through one outfit and peed on his extra outfit so boyfriend had to hang in an outfit he had peed on for the rest of the trip. Have backups for your backup! If you’re nursing, bring your favorite nursing cover (Covered Goods!!) so you can nurse on take off + landing. We’ve been using our Parental Unit from Tom Bihn (sensing a pattern?! All of their stuff is so so good!) and it’s crazy how much stuff you can fit in the bag and still zip it up and it doesn’t feel heavy or bulky. My husband has LOVED this diaper bag because it just feels like a bag he would carry everyday but with all of the organization a good diaper bag needs.
  3. If you have access to a washer + dryer, try packing less and doing laundry on your trip. For our 10 day trip to Ireland, we plan on bringing a small thing of detergent and doing some laundry in our sink or bath. I have a feeling a tide to go pen will be our best friends too with spills and splatters.
  4. Buy diapers when you get to your destination. We always bring enough for the plane ride and for a day or two once we get there (if we have the space in our bags) because sometimes you just don’t want to go to the store as soon as you step off the plane.
  5. Pack an empty sippy cup or straw cup for the plane ride. We just buy a water once we get through security and pour it into each kid’s cups. It’s a lot easier than dealing with screw tops and it helps the kids be more independent on the plane. We love the ones that have a straw but close so they don’t spill in their bags.
  6. Check your stroller at the gate or bring a baby carrier (like an ergo or solly wrap). We love to check our stroller at the gate because it helps us be as hands free as possible while walking around the airport. Bonus: our kids ride on the skateboards of our orbit so it keeps them close to us!
  7. Kids get restless so if the seatbelt sign is off, get some wiggles out by walking up and down the aisles a few times! This is especially important on a long flight. We’ll do this and also sometimes hang out in the back with the flight attendants for a bit if our youngest is feeling grumpy. They usually love to see a cute baby so they’re happy to share the space for a few minutes (I think at least hah!)

I hope those were some helpful tips for packing/traveling with little ones! As I’ve done it more and added more kids to the bunch my motto is simplicity, simplicity, simplicity.

-LWPH

our living room tour

We’ve lived in this house for just over three years. We are renting (and feel so lucky to have scored such a great house in Silicon Valley) but have been constantly frustrated at the housing market here. We’ve put some work into decorating our rental but not a ton of work.

We’ve been toying with the idea of buying a house out here and even looked at a few but something was telling us it just wasn’t the right time for us so we’ve put it on hold. Once we put the house hunting on hold I told myself to just enjoy this rental we have and really make it our own!

I knew I wanted a long picture ledge along the back of the couch. We have so many wonderful pictures + prints framed and the ledge makes it so we can swap out as often as we want! We bought two of these ledges from Ikea and hung them next to each other on the wall. I love how it turned out!

Oh, if we owned this house that fireplace would be the first thing to go! The stonework matches the outside of the house but it definitely needs some updating. I’m not really sure if the actual fireplace works but that could use an update, too. It’s from the 60’s, I believe!

There was a NIGHTMARE of a mess of cords hanging allllll along the wall. We had all of the game consoles and internet/cable boxes on the mantle and it just looked terrible. I wish I would have taken a before picture — it was THAT BAD. Now full disclosure: a tiny bit of the gathered wires really do show a tiny bit around those white flowers that I didn’t have time to fully figure out how to cover up so that was photoshopped out. You can totally hide the wires behind the wall though following this tutorial, we just didn’t want to drill into the wall anymore than we have to.

I love this diffuser from Magnolia Market. Everything Chip + Joanna do turns to gold. I want to be BFFs with them (a sentiment felt by most of America, I’m sure!) The diffuser smells DIVINE. The perfectly fresh scent.

It took me a really long time to figure out what to do with the top shelf! Like a really long time. I finally was like DUH, put some great books up there and steal that cool ball thing from Sawyer’s room and voila! The difference between past decorating endeavors and this one was I didn’t want a bunch of little things that maybe looked cute but served no purpose. I don’t need anymore junk around my house! I used the shelves of our Walker Edison media tower to host some of our favorite books, a plant for some green next to a box for all of our Amiibos, our game consoles and cable boxes (which I still want to hide somehow) and a speaker for our nightly dance parties!

I LOVE our coffee table from Walker Edison! It has a glass top which you’d think would be super annoying to keep clean with three little kids but it honestly hasn’t been bad and the fact that you can see through the top actually helps me to keep the bottom shelf clean. I need all the motivation I can get to not let clutter take over our lives!

Sawyer was, of course, hamming it up for the camera. He just radiates sunshine!

Now this is technically a TV stand of sorts but after I saw how Whippy Cake made it such a functional piece for her family I was like THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEEEEED. Now, this post is already getting suuuuper lengthy and I have so much to say about how we use this in our every day lives so I’m going to have to make a totally separate blog post for it. It’s been that life changing in organizing our day to day! Thank youuuuu, Walker Edison, thank youuuuu!

We needed a LARGE piece of art to put above our life organizing, wonderful piece of furniture and Minted definitely saved the day. They have the most beautiful selection of art and you can either buy the art separately or have it framed and shipped. We opted for the framed and shipped option because convenience is everything in my life right now! They have SO many options guys, take a while and browse their selection! I want it all.

We were going to put two large pieces just leaning against the wall there but decided to move one of the framed pieces to the game room. I love how it looks on our buffet and that copper frame is just gorgeous!

Here are a few more shots from around the room and then I’ll try to put some sources below but if there’s something specific you’re wanting to know about, just put it in the comments and I’ll get back to you!

I love having the quilts I’ve made for our family out on display. They are such a labor of love and mean so much to me, there’s no way I could hide them all away in a closet somewhere! We love snuggling under quilts watching tv, movies, or playing a video game so it’s perfect having them so easily accessible.

That Rad Revolution romper on Charlotte…obsessed! I don’t think she sells that floral print anymore but has TONS of other adorable romper choices! And really, it would be terrible of me not to turn you guys onto Loyal Hana if you’re nursing. All of their clothing is cute, well-made, and HAS HIDDEN ZIPPERS for breastfeeding! I have quite a few pieces from them and pretty much rotate them out and maybe throw a t-shirt or two in the mix but mostly I’m like, why would I not want zippers in everything I’m wearing right now?! I told you, convenience.

Like I said, if you have a question about a specific piece let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you! Hope you enjoyed the tour! I’ll post next later this week or next week about the console and how we use it!

All photos by Rachael Bradley.

-LWPH

Castle Rock Hike

One of our favorite family activities is going on a hike with the kiddos! We usually do a pretty low key hike but we were feeling adventurous..or at least Allan was feeling adventurous and it was his Father’s Day hike after all. Carrying Sawyer up and down the mountain, Charlotte peeing her pants half way down and nursing Sawyer to sleep while hiking down the mountain made for a super interesting time but there were just so many good moments along the way.

We always stop at this creek to throw a few rocks + leaves.

Sawyer is loving the Ergo Baby 360 these days. It was great because he could be facing out for as long as he wanted and then when he got tired and needed to nurse I could switch him around very easily.

-LWPH

BabyList Small Shop Pick 2016

 

We are so excited to have been chosen as one of Baby List’s Small Shop Picks for 2016! This is actually our second time being included in their Small Shop Picks and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be included with such a wonderful group of small businesses who work so hard every.single.day.

We have an exclusive promotional code with BabyList so make sure to sign up for their mailing list and get discount codes for the other businesses involved! We’ve also made it SUPER easy for you to add Little Wife Power House directly to your BabyList registry by following this link. Not only can you add anything from our website for your loved ones to bring to your rockin’ baby shower, you can add anything from around the internet… even meals, house cleaning, etc! It’s truly an amazing service and I loved using it with my little ones!

-LWPH

Cake Maternity

I was so excited to have the opportunity to work with Cake Maternity and try out a few of their nursing bras. I chose the Nude Rock Candy Seamless BraDark Chocolate Underwire Nursing Bra, and the Maple Mousse Plunge Bra. One to relax in, one maybe for a night out [ha! a night out?! Well, a girl can dream!] and one for everyday use.

The Nude Rock Seamless Bra was super comfortable and I actually birthed Sawyer in it! It’s stretchy and perfect for sleeping and lounging, especially in those early weeks. The Dark Chocolate Underwire Nursing Bra has been a fun alternative and great to wear under darker clothes on those hot date nights. And by hot date nights I mean the occasional dinner out WITH our youngest. Anyone relate? The bra I’ve worn the most by far has been the Maple Mousse Plunge Bra. It’s the perfect neutral and still makes you feel super cute. A fellow nursing mama saw it and commented on how cute it was! I sized down to the size just below the one I was previously using and there seems to be a huge size disparity between the two but I could have missed something and ordered wrong! Just make sure to measure yourself and get the right size!

You can see their whole line of goods here. They have everything from bras to tanks to nursing pads so make sure to browse around to see what all they have to offer!

-LWPH

the big kids’ room tour

I’m so excited to finally share the makeover of my kids’ shared room! Decorating a room that has both genders can be a challenge but I found I tend to lean towards gender neutral colors in general so it kind of worked out! I love greys, white, teal and did I say grey?!

I know you guys want to know all the details about our bunk beds so head here to read all about them! We’ve loved these bunk beds and adding a little DIY to them made them SO much better!

I made both quilts for their bunk beds. Quilts are such a labor of love and I really hope they keep + use them for their whole lives…and then pass them onto their kids. That’s why I totally believe quilts are such a great heirloom investment. They become part of some of your most cherished memories. I’ll always remember tucking my babies into bed at night snuggled in their cozy quilts. Cuddling with them as they both beg to all lay in the same bed for a few minutes at night. Reading their favorite books over and over again. My sweet babes are what make the memories but our quilts are part of them. Charlotte’s quilt also helped add a little fun color to the room which I love!

Our teepee from Tnee’s is one of my favorite parts of their room! It’s such a show stopper and the quality is unmatched. The grey stripe is the perfect neutral and if we ever change up their room I know I’d be able to put their teepee in our front room and it would fit in the decor seamlessly. The kids love reading in it, playing peek-a-boo, and turning it into a time machine to search for dinosaurs!

Linking to sources below but leave any questions you have for me here!

All photos by Corinne McCombs.

Hatch Baby Smart Changing Pad

I am constantly blown away by the amazing baby products people are coming out with to take away as much worry from us mamas as possible. We have enough to worry about, don’t we?! I was so excited when Hatch Baby reached out to introduce their new product, the revolutionary smart changing pad that connects to a free app on your smart phone to track your baby’s weight, feedings, and even sleep!

I don’t know about you but being that I’m exclusively breastfeeding, I’m constantly worried that Sawyer is getting enough to eat — especially in those early days. The guessing can leave you seriously stressing! The Hatch Baby changing pad has a scale, guys! I was able to weigh him before and after feedings to make sure he was getting plenty of milk, can you believe it? What a blessing of peace of mind! I immediately thought how wonderful it would be for mamas who bring home premature babies to closely track their weight gain and diaper output! In fact, my mama friend who gave birth at 32 weeks was wishing she had had a Hatch Baby pad in her home back in her most worrisome weeks. The pad also wirelessly sends Sawyer’s weight to the app and charts it all! I love taking babies to doctor’s appointments just so I can hear how much they weigh. Nothing better than knowing your babe is thriving. Friends are always asking how much Sawyer weighs so now I can say [down to the ounce]!

We put so much thought and love into every detail of our little one’s nurseries, don’t we?  Sometimes techie baby products can look clunky and the design can be lacking. The Hatch Baby changing pad is sleek and the top pad is even interchangeable so it can be washed or changed out if you decide you want a slightly different look. We went with Ash but it also comes in Rose, Sand, and Sky. Doesn’t it fit into the decor seamlessly? It was my last item to put in so I’m pretty sure one of their four colors would fit into most color schemes!

The app is a great partner to the changing pad. I love that I can enter information as I’m nursing [bravo efficiency!] I’m also reeeeeeally grateful that all of Sawyer’s information is right at my finger tips for those moments when his pediatrician is asking me about his sleep/feeding schedules and I’m all wide eyed because I can’t even remember my name on the three hours of sleep I got the night before. It has saved me from looking like a super spaced out mom more than once! Even if you don’t have their changing pad right now, I recommend getting their free app to keep track of their stats although I’m sure you never have space cadet mom moments like me, right? Never ;)!

…and one photo of my three little loves just for fun because I can’t believe how lucky I am to mother my sweet red head, blonde, and brunette babes.

This blog post is in partnership with Hatch Baby and all photos by Corinne McCombs Photography.

4moms Momaroo + Bounceroo Review

We were so excited to get the opportunity to try out 4moms Mamaroo and Bounceroo with Sawyer! I had done a lot of research and talked to other moms who all said the same thing, 4moms products are the best!

The bounceroo has quickly become a staple baby product in our house. It’s mobile [battery run] and light so it can easily be moved from one room to the next. I use it all over our house — while eating, getting ready, folding laundry, etc. It only weighs six pounds and has three different vibration settings. His favorite is the wave vibration setting! Each vibration setting can be put on high, medium, or low depending on what your babe prefers.

Here’s one of my favorite times to use both — so mama can get some work done!

The mamaroo is perfect for those times he’s getting sleepy and needs to relax but I absolutely HAVE to get something done either with the house or one of my other kids.

It has five different motion settings: the car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a-bye, and wave. He instantly falls asleep in the car so the car ride setting is the best thing ever! It even has different sound settings to cancel out some of the crazy of our house so he can relax a little easier.

I love that I can control both the sound + motion settings from anywhere in the house using my phone! If he starts to get fussy I can switch it up with a different motion.

You can tell that 4moms products have really been tested by moms and they put so much thought into every detail. We’ll be giving away a Bounceroo over on my instagram page today so make sure to check back later tonight!

xo, LWPH

Sawyer’s Room Tour

Well, it’s finally here — a tour of Sawyer’s room! When I started decorating, I literally had no direction or plan! Isn’t that the worst way to decorate?! I just started buying a few things here and there and somehow it all fell together and I really, really love how it turned out. It’s the perfect amount of “boy” while still keeping the decor simple.

We had recently moved Charlotte [3] to the bunk beds with her brother so we still had her old crib, dresser, glider and shelving ladder hanging around that I loved to death so I kept everything in there and just changed things up a little to match the style better. I covered our glider we’ve had since my oldest [and it was a goodwill find then for $26!] and love how it came out. I swear you can add a coat of spray paint to anything and it becomes a whole new piece of furniture!

I added a few of my favorite things to his shelves that I not only love to use but look so adorable sitting out. Here’s a few shots of the shelving ladder with some of our favorite small shop goods! The felt bins from Loop Design Studio are the perfect modern storage for diapers + wipes, baby blankets, and were such a great combination with our alphabet wood blocks.

Nothing better than having Tubby Todd close in reach held up by a Sweet Littles Handmade pirate!

Of course I had to add in some Little Wife Power House! I love how our navy marked crib sheet + The James plus quilt pulled together perfectly. They compliment each other without being too matchy matchy! Not to mention that beautiful play gym from Nin + June!

Every nursery has to have a beautiful dreamer by Baby Jives! Sawyer loves to lay on his changing pad and stare as it slowly turns.

Other resources: wraps by Solly Baby, print c/o A Vintage Poster, moccasins c/o Freshly Picked, sliced wood decor and lamp from Target, crib from Wal Mart, adventure banner by Juney House, rug c/o Rugs USA, hamper from Land of Nod, ladder shelf from Target years ago.

A special thanks to Corinne McCombs for the beautiful photos!

Thanks for taking the tour! I hope you loved it!

xo, LWPH

maternity photos

I’ve never done maternity photos with any of my other littles — mostly because I really hate having my photo taken but Jessie Evans is crazy amazingly talented so I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to have her take some photos while we were in Utah! It would’ve been an absolute travesty, right?! I told her I’d be happy if she got one photo I liked. ONE. I just went through and saved them and there are like 18 that I love! So many that this blog post is going to be ridiculously long because she’s just so good! I am going to love these forever so thank you, Jessie.

Even if you think you’ve gained too much weight, aren’t photogenic, all of the terrible things we tell ourselves out of insecurity [I’m talking to myself here mostly!], I highly recommend photographing this stage in your life. It’s crazy and beautiful and needs to be documented.

-LWPH

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