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    Surviving A Solo Roadtrip With Three Kids

    A couple weeks ago I endured a solo roadtrip with three kids. I survived. I may even do it again but here's how I made it happen.

    Yes. You read that right. A couple of weeks ago I spoke at a conference that I’d pitched prior to finding out I was pregnant and was invited to speak at. This was also before we’d made the final decision to homeschool the girls. Well, after wanting to become a speaker and then getting the opportunity I couldn’t not take it so I packed the kids up into this awesome Kia and the four of us roadtripped to my conference.

    Yes, I May Be A Bit Crazy

    I think this was the consensus as I shared our trip with my friends on social media. In fact, as we packed the car up to get ready to head out I, too, thought I was a little crazy. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was beyond anxious for being in the car alone for a minimum of 4 hours with 3 kids–including 1 newborn.

    A couple weeks ago I endured a solo roadtrip with three kids. I survived. I may even do it again but here's how I made it happen.

    How NOT To Go Crazy

    We encountered lots of traffic and delays but we all made it with nerves in tact. These are some of the things I learned on this journey:

    Take your time.

    When I roadtrip I like to get there as fast as I can with minimal stops. We gas up, eat, use the potty and stretch all at the same time–no additional stops. But I had to not only change my expectations because of my body but also because of the bodies of my littles. We didn’t rush and we stopped when needed.

    Travel in comfort.

    Because I’m nursing BC I knew I wanted to make it easy to nurse him in what I wore. But I also wanted make sure that ALL of us were comfortable. Instead of driving our normal car that has a pretty tight back seat with all three, we roadtripped in a Kia Sedona that had a bigger backseat and a way more comfortable front seat which made nursing BC on the side of the road (yes, we did this a lot) nicer.

    Set proper expectations with the kids.

    The night before we left I had a conversation with Mini about how nervous I was to drive with the three of them. I also told her what I would need from her. I attribute much of the smoothness of the trip to her and this conversation.

    When you’re back on the road and your front seat turns into the changing station… At least it’s stylish!

    A post shared by Aaronica | The Crunchy Mommy (@thecrunchymommy) on

    Have snacks. A lot of them.

    I laughed when one of my FB friends said food was the answer but in truth, it was lol! When they got antsy, I offered them food and don’t you know they calmed down???

    Music. Make sure you have good stuff.

    I’m lucky because my Kia had the Sirius XM radio so we had GREAT age appropriate music at our fingertips. But if you don’t, make sure you have Pandora or something to sing along with. My husband started car karaoke with them and it definitely makes the time pass.

     


    Was it crazy to drive what turned 6.5 hours with 3 kids? Yes. Absolutely. But my kids made it happen so that I could rock my first speaking event at Blog Life University and I’m grateful.

    What roadtripping tips do you have?

    **Many thanks to Kia for loaning us a vehicle to make this roadtrip happen in comfort!**
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    How I’m Homeschooling With A Newborn

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    One of the main questions I fielded when I was pregnant was if I was going to continue homeschooling with a newborn. I’d never thought about stopping just because I was throwing another child into the mix and we’re still going strong now. In fact, it’s easier homeschooling with a newborn than while pregnant but it’s definitely not something that I would say is easy.

    Have Patience And Grace

    This is with both yourself and the kids. The beauty of homeschooling is there’s no falling behind so you can take the time you need after delivery. But this can easily be forgotten if you’re a goal oriented person. Depending on your age and health, recovery can take time. The more patient you are with yourself during healing the faster you’ll get back to whatever norm you have.

    Set Proper Expectations And Be Prepared

    Kids are more adaptable then we give them credit. I had a conversation with Mini about what I needed from her, the pain I was in post-delivery and the things I expected from her. This made our days in the beginning much smoother. And preparation is key for us. On Sundays I would plan out the weeks work for them to do and then make sure their daily assignments were left out.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    Ease Back Into Your Routine

    One of the things that has made it easy for us to get back into our routine has been having someplace comfy to put BC in when he’s not on me. We have a Hushamok Baby Hammock in our living room where we conduct our lessons.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok. Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    The fabric is an organic cotton that hugs him as he sleeps giving me the time I need to go over lessons with the girls. Not only does he love it but the design is beautiful so I don’t feel like my living room looks like a day care–yet.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

     

    Make Caring For Your Newborn Part of The Lesson Plan

    Caring for a newborn can be hard but it’s something of great value to both adults and kids to learn. And yes, I said adults too because this isn’t something that’s as innate as we think. The girls are learning greater patience, communication skills, how to nurture in different ways and about the human body–this is the first male private part they’ve seen! But it also helps to make sure they don’t feel replaced by the baby.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is not for the weak but it totally can be done! Read how I do it with the help of tools like the Hushamok.

    Homeschooling with a newborn is a challenge but it’s a rewarding one as it gives all of us the opportunity to get lessons we normally wouldn’t have. Balance and grace are everything for the success of it though!

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    How To Make Halloween Funnier With Freebies

    Please give a warm welcome to Donna Thompson who submitted this post just in time for Halloween!

    Halloween is one of the most interesting and sometimes controversial holidays in the year. This also means it’s the perfect time to let your creativity off the leash with fun treats and crafts that make for ideal family time. Not sure what you can whip up this Halloween? No worries, I’ve got you covered!

    Making Halloween Fun {And Funnier} This Season

    Planning to organize a super fun and spooky party that will be talked about for a long time? Of course you are! These scary and multi-functional Halloween stickers can definitely come in handy. And since Halloween is just around the corner and preparation are at full speed, don’t panic if you haven’t figured out all the details. Here is a list of how to use these stickers and give your Halloween celebration a final touch:

    Halloween comes once a year and kids are ready to have a good time. Get ready to deliver on their expectations with these freebies!

    1. DIY spooky bags, cans, and jars with treats.

    Painting the old jars and cans in Halloween colours and adding these stickers to them is maybe a simple but very amusing craft project.

    2. Decorating the Halloween- themed party.

    Add stickers to the dinner table name tags, napkin holders or simply all hang them on the curtains.

    3.Include stickers to your Halloween costume design and make it more colorful.

    4. Halloween door decoration.

    Add stickers to the cardboard and hang them on the door. The doors decorated in this way will not be left unnoticed.

    5. Decorating your kid’s lunch box.

    Your child will be thrilled to have this addition on their snack boxes and you’ll naturally be labeled the cool mom!

    Download these fun and free stickers, print them out on self-adhesive or regular paper and enjoy this Halloween with your kids in the funniest way.

    How do you and your family plan to celebrate Halloween?

     

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    How To Add A Newborn To Your Bedtime Routine

    Big thanks to Halo for working together on this post!

    BC is 8 weeks old now. EIGHT weeks! I can’t believe that it was just 6 weeks ago that he joined our family adding a beautiful dynamic to it. And it’s taken all of these weeks for us to get settled into our nighttime routine with him plus the other kids. Full disclosure: my home has been a bit crazy towards the end of pregnancy and I’ve really been looking forward to getting our bedtime routine back on track. I’m happy to share that we finally have.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Nighttime Snuggles

    BC is my last baby and our nighttime snuggles are extended after the girls go to sleep. I’m a breastfeeding mama and this is it for me. I love playing with his little toes and letting his fingers curl around mine as he gets comfortable in his sleep. I love his beautiful curls on his head and the way that his big eyes look up at me sleepily before they close. He will probably be spoiled and I’m not going to make pretend to stop that. This is my last baby and I’m enjoying breathing in every last bit of him.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Incorporating A Newborn Into Your Bedtime Routine

    Bringing home a baby to two little girls is like bringing him home to 2 mini moms. Both the girls want to be included in his care and take personal offense if they feel left out. One of the really important things to me is to make sure that both of my girls feel as though they are both needed and wanted in helping with the baby.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    In incorporating BC into our pre-existing routines, my husband and I have shared some of the responsibilities in getting him ready for bed. Mini will undress him and read books to both ABC and BC. Not only does that make her feel like she’s a big help, it also helps her with her phonics. ABC is still so small and BC is growing pretty quickly so there are limits to what she helps with. She’s able to brush his hair and sing to him as I nurse him.

    Our Bedtime Routine

    One of the things that I’m learning daily is that the girls do better when we set the proper expectations for them. On our white board I write down what their routine is and it looks a little something like this:

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Evening Chores
    Shower (I give BC a bath)
    Brush Teeth
    Get Jammies on (BC gets put in his HALO SleepSack)
    Read 2 books
    Sing 2 songs
    Go to Sleep!

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

    Now sometimes (to be read as most times) it doesn’t go this smoothly but this is our goal!

    What do your bedtime routines with infants look like?

    Have questions about safe sleeping for newborns? Check out this resource here.

    A solid bedtime routine is truly priceless. Here's how we're incorporating our newest addition to the family into my FAVORITE routine!

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    Falling In Love With Fall Fashion

    I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.

    Fall is FINALLY in the air and I couldn’t be happier. The crisp temperatures mean warmer clothes, hot drinks, and boots! Boot season is my absolute favorite and I may or may not have a bit of a boot addiction. Outside of boots, I’m super excited about warm, fuzzy sweaters that make me feel at home wherever I am.

    4 Fall 2017 Fashion Must-Haves

    The temperatures are finally dropping this fall and I'm talking responsible fashion trends with prAna where it's not JUST about style!

    Cozy Sweaters

    The new trend this year is the floor length duster sweater. These are dramatic additions to your wardrobe that will take your basic to not-so-basic in 2 seconds.

    The temperatures are finally dropping this fall and I'm talking responsible fashion trends with prAna where it's not JUST about style!

    Photo courtesy of prana.com

    Colored Denim

    I think colored denim is on trend every season but whereas spring calls for corals and mints, fall warrants something a little different. My favorite fall color is Mustard and in my eyes it functions as an updated neutral color that goes with almost everything.

    Hidden Details

    It’s the small details that have the ability to take something plain to really beautiful. Take a simple sweater and add button detailing. Now it’s something different with style.

    Thigh High Boots

    These are my favorite and I’m on the hunt for them as we speak given the plush nature of my thighs. But talk about adding some “va-va-voom” to an outfit!!!

    The temperatures are finally dropping this fall and I'm talking responsible fashion trends with prAna where it's not JUST about style!

    Dressing Responsibly With prAna

    That sounds like I mean covering yourself up, right? Well that’s not what I mean this time! While I’m all for modesty in fashion, I’m more for fashion that is made with responsible materials. Did you know that fibers from our clothing that get into the water through our washer machines are some of the leading water pollutants? And most of these fibers are made with materials that are harmful to both our environment and the animals in it?

    Partnering with prAna was a no brainer for me because of their commitment to making their clothing with sustainable, recycled, fair trade certified and hemp items. Not only does prAna make clothes that don’t harm the planet, but they’re stylish AND comfortable! I received the Kara Jeans in Sepia and the Aya Sweater in Auburn and I’m in love. Both of these pieces are comfortable and make me feel beautiful while I wear them. Oh, and I feel good about not only making wiser choices for the planet but also the community.

    prAna makes it a priority to give back to communities all over the world with money from purchases. This makes me feel even better when buying their items because I know that I’m helping someone else out with my fashion addiction. Because I know it’s not just me who loves fashion WHILE making an impact on the environment AND helping other communities, I have a coupon code for you to use while shopping with prAnaMMAAF17 will give you 15% off your purchases.

    The temperatures are finally dropping this fall and I'm talking responsible fashion trends with prAna where it's not JUST about style!

    What are your favorite fall fashion trends?

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    21 Natural Bath & Body Companies To Try

    For so long many of us have been at the mercy of whatever body washes, soaps, lotions, deodorants, etc that are offered in whatever local store that we shop. But with the rise of online shopping and fellow naturalistas mastering their crafts at creating these toiletries with natural ingredients, we’re able to branch out and make wiser decisions for our skin and hair care. Here are twenty-one places you can order your natural body products from.

    21 Natural Bath & Body Companies To Try

    Keirenae Hair and Body – www.keirenae.com

    The founder of Keirenae was tired of having hair and body products with additives like sodium laureth sulfate, alcohol, and other phthalates so she created her own products that contain minimal ingredients.

    Nae Naturals – https://naenaturals.myshopify.com/

    Nae Natural is a hair care and accessory brand for young girls and boys. Their products are so gentle that the whole family can use them! Leave-in Conditioner and Detangler for Soft and Moist Tresses! Made for little misses and misters but can be used by anyone and on any hair texture!

    Ready to try something different & have use natural bath & body products? Here's a list of 21 brands to check out for everything from soaps to deodorant.

    Layers of Me – https://www.layersofmellc.com/

    Many of the skin care products that are on the market contain harsh chemicals and other things that our skin doesn’t need. Their signature body butter is made with 70% water and replaces standard body lotions. They have 2 different lines–one for normal skin and one for dry skin.

    Deodorant Detox – http://www.getdeodorantdetox.com/

    Did you know that your body stinks when you sweat due to bacteria in your body? Deodorant Detox works to naturally neutralize body odors while eliminating odor-causing bacteria. I’ve used this before and shared my experience. I love it!

    Shine Bright Body Care Line – http://www.shinebrightbodycare.com/

    Need a natural body soap? They offer everything from soaps to scrubs and more that are all handmade.

    So Posh Beauty – https://soposhbeauty.com/

    These hand crafted products are created for the bath, body and home. This company started in the home of the owner after she discovered she could make her own natural soap. They have everything from facial steam to super cute stationary!

    Ready to try something different & have use natural bath & body products? Here's a list of 21 brands to check out for everything from soaps to deodorant.

    Naturally Succulent – https://www.succulentskincareproducts.com/

    They not only provide skin care but also tips and tricks to obtaining your best skin ever. They sell both soaps and bath bombs that are naturally made.

    Millen Heirs – https://www.millenheirs.com/

    Toiletries for both men and women are offered through this site. Everything from beard balm to natural deodorant!

    Mia Seren – http://miaserennaturals.com/

    They consider their products “eco-luxe” and I love it! After browsing their website I’m seriously ready to throw all my money at them to get their soaps!

    Uniquely Soap – https://uniquelysoap.com/

    After falling in love with different scents and soap making, the owner Sabrina turned it into a business. She sells everything from soaps and “wash me whip” to dog soaps–yes, even the pups get handled with care!

    Salubria Holistic Beauty – https://salubriacare.com/

    Making sure that both your tresses and skin are hydrated are what this company’s products are geared towards with their Hair + Body Oils and Butters.

    Ready to try something different & have use natural bath & body products? Here's a list of 21 brands to check out for everything from soaps to deodorant.

    Pearl’s Wisdom Soap – https://pearlswisdom.com/

    These are handmade soaps that are created with oils, butters, goat’s milk, aloe vera, clays, and essential oils. They also have scrubs, butters, lotions and bath bombs!

    Elle Skincare Co. – http://elleskincareco.com/

    They make simple, chemical-free and organic skin care using plant-based ingredients. They offer everything from face products, body soaps and cremes that look amazing!

    The Soap Matrix – https://thesoapmatrix.com/

    This is a family owned business that specializes in soaps that offer luxurious lather. There are so many choices in soaps that there’s definitely something for everyone.

    SONIA Organics – https://soniaorganics.com/

    SONIA Organics was founded in order to improve the physical health of the owners family. These products are made with natural and organic ingredients. You can get your shea butter and black soap from here!

    Abiyah Naturals – http://www.abiyahnaturals.com/

    Abiyah Naturals specializes in handmade hair, body and bath products that are created in small batches. They amount of products offered are insane! From all different soaps to body butters to baby bubble bath you’ll find whatever you need here.

    Sereniti Bath Body And You Spa – https://serenitibathbodyandyou.com/

    After falling deeper in love with herself, the creator of Sereniti began to be more conscious about what she was putting on her hair and body. They offer hair, skin and hair care!

    Living Roots Creations – https://www.etsy.com/shop/livingrootscreations

    Living Roots Creations believes in the spiritual aspect of skincare and seeks to create positivity through what you put on your body.

    Ninth And Moon – https://www.ninthandmoon.com/

    Ninth And Moon is right up my alley! They were created to make green beauty attainable and delivered to your doorstep. They offer kits for hair, pedicures, and beards as well as individual products meant to nourish.

    Eva Jenae Naturals – https://evajenaenaturals.com/

    After the creator’s daughter was born, she looked at skincare differently with the onset of eczema. Today she offers a line of face, body and hair care that are natural, vegan and handcrafted.

    Lavish Bath Body & Beauty – https://www.lavishbathbodybeauty.com/

    Every product that they offer is natural and organic that is meant to protect, nourish, balance and most importantly respect both your body and Mother Nature. They offer delicious butters, scrubs and bath bombs.

    The Caramel Girl Collection – https://squareup.com/market/the-caramel-girl-collection

    This company offers handmade scrub bars, soaps, bath bombs, scrubs, and butters.


    If you’re crafty and into DIY, you can always make your own but if not, these are some great options!

    Practically green people! Where do get your body products from?

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    How To Help Puerto Rico After the Hurricane

    I’m still in awe at the damage done to Puerto Rico. I don’t know what’s worse–the damage done or the lack of response from some. But alas, there are people out there trying to help and I want to make sure that word gets spread. If you’re looking to help, here’s a list of how to do just that.

    Mass devastation is what's left in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma came through and they need help. Many want to help and here's how you can.

    Who’s Helping Puerto Rico After the Storm

    PRFI Help Now Hurricane Relief

    To provide relief for those impacted by hurricane Maria.
    P.R.F.I is officially classified and registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 C3 nonprofit organization .
    You may also visit our website at www.prfi.org

    Week of Compassion

    They have long term partners who are on the ground now and will be on the ground long after others have left. When you designate your gift to hurricane victims/clean up, 100% goes directly to the local people, if you give a general gift, 97% goes directly to locals. http://www.weekofcompassion.org/

    Porch Light Latin Kitchen

    They’ve been collecting donations and will need help getting the donations to the airport today, October 1st. More details on their Facebook Page.

    Raising Money For Recovery of Puerto Rico via LCF Georgia

    Funds raised will provide financial support to local organizations in Puerto Rico working on recovery and rebuilding as well as help ship and distribute medical and emergency supplies gathered in Georgia by a collective or business owners and concerned individuals, to families in the island. More info via their Facebook Page.

    Walmart.com
    Mass devastation is what's left in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma came through and they need help. Many want to help and here's how you can.

    For friends in NY wanting to help I have this information too:

    Independent Coalitions

    Carmelo Anthony Puerto Rico Relief – The Players Tribune
    Eco Kit Puerto Rico – Eco Kit Duffle Initiative
    Fondos Unidos de Puerto Rico – Fondosunidos.org
    Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico – fcpr.org
    María: Puerto Rico Real-time Recovery Fund – Conprmetidos.org
    Puerto Rico por Puerto Rico – Prxpr.org
    Puerto Rico Rises – puertorriquenos.nuevayork@gmail.com – Puerto Rico Rises

    Community and Cultural Partners

    Coalición Mexicana – CoaliciónMexicana.org – community building
    Celebrate Mexico Now Festival – Rise! NY|MX Earthquake Relief for Mexico Benefit Concert – arts and culture
    Comité Noviembre – Comiténoviembre.org – community building
    Pregones / Teatro Rodante Puertorriqueño – Pregonesprtt.org – Clearing house for artists
    Revolución Latina – Hurricane and Earthquake Relief Dance-A-Thon
    Voices for Puerto Rico – Voicesforpuertorico.com – arts and culture

    There are donation sites around the NY area accepting the priorities that need to be sent over. You can find them here:
    ASPIRA of New York, Inc.,
    Site #1 – Main Office |15 West 36th Street, NY, NY 10018
    Site #2 – P.S.\ I.S. 224 | 345 Brook Avenue, Room 104, Bronx, NY 10455
    Note: Aspira’s main office is accepting amazon packages.

    FDNY
    Donations will be accepted during the hours of 7 am – 9 pm. Please be aware that FDNY members at these locations may not be present during drop-off hours if they are responding to an emergency.

    Manhattan

    Engine 91: 242 E. 111th Street, New York, NY 11220 (East Harlem)
    Engine 95/ Ladder 36: 29 Vermilyea Avenue, New York, NY 10033 (Inwood)
    Engine 28/ Ladder 11: 222 E. 2nd Street, New York, NY 10009 (Lower East Side)

    Bronx
    EMS Station 26: 1264 Boston Road, Bronx NY 10456 (Morrisania)
    EMS Station 55: 3134 Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10451 (Melrose)
    Engine 64/ Ladder 47: 1214 Castle Hill Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462 (Castle Hill)
    Engine 83/ Ladder 29: 618 E. 138th Street, Bronx, NY 10454 (Mott Haven/South Bronx)

    Queens
    Engine 316: 27-12 Kearney Street, Queens, NY 11369 (East Elmhurst)
    Engine 289/ Ladder 138: 97-28 43rd Avenue, Queens, NY 11368 (Corona)
    Engine 307/ Ladder 154: 81-17 Northern Boulevard, Queens, NY 11372 (Jackson Heights)

    Brooklyn
    Engine 271/ Ladder 124: 392 Himrod Street, Brooklyn, NY 11237 (Bushwick)
    Engine 277/ Ladder 112: 582 Knickerbocker Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (Bushwick)
    Engine 201/ Ladder 114: 5113 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11220 ( Sunset Park)
    Engine 228: 436 39th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232 (Sunset Park)
    Engine 218: 650 Hart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11221 (Bushwick)

    Staten Island
    Engine 153/ Ladder 77: 74 Broad Street, Staten Island, NY 10304 (Stapleton)
    Engine 157/ Ladder 80: 1573 Castleton Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10302 (Port Richmond)
    Ladder 79: 1189 Castleton Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10310 (Port Richmond)


    The devastation in Puerto Rico is real. If you can help, please do. Puerto Rico has shared updates on what’s going on there as well as a list of the things they really need here. The Fourth Trimester Box has set up a discounted box that will be sent to new moms and babies there as well. You can purchase these here. Once the roads are cleared and things are more stable, they’ll need volunteers to help them put things back together. If you’re able to do that, there are places you can team up with and they can be found here.

    If you know of more efforts, please drop a comment below as this post will be updated often.

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    3 Reasons You Need To Be Baby Wearing

    Baby wearing is an awesome tool for new mamas. Find out my reasons why that I share in this sponsored posting.

    Tracking PixelBaby wearing isn’t a new concept by any means, however, it’s becoming increasingly popular. Even though more people are finding out about the different methods of baby wearing, I still don’t think there are enough people out here that know just how baby wearing can make ALL the difference in your life as a new parent. Notice how I said parent because baby wearing is NOT just for moms!

    3 Reasons You Need To Be Baby Wearing

    1. Your Other Children Need To Be Tended To

    I’m now a mom of three and my oldest two are all over the place, into everything. Would I love having a whole month off only focusing on the newest member of the family? Sure. Absolutely. But that’s not my reality nor is it the reality of most moms who have more than one child. You have another baby and the other kids are like, “Great. We have a new sibling. So where are we going today?” They don’t care about you wanting to rest and bond!

    2. It Allows Bonding On The Go

    Bonding is my favorite part of motherhood. Looking into their little eyes, smelling their heads, feeling their little bellies as you have skin-to-skin contact are all so important during the first days, weeks, and months of their lives. But even if I didn’t have my two older ones, I wouldn’t be able to just lay in the bed with my new baby bonding. Wearing your new baby allows you to take the bonding on the go and be more efficient about it. Yes, I just referred to bonding being efficient–I know ha!

    3. It Helps You To Be You Again

    After I’ve had each of my children I had brief freak out moments like, “OMG!!! Who am I now? How will I get anything done? How will I be me if I’m always having this baby around?” Yes, I do have moments where I think these things because I’m a normal mom who still wants to be Aaronica. I’ve found the best way for me to remember that I’m still a person outside of being a mom is to get back to doing the things that I love doing and allow me to be me. Now I put BC into my Ergobaby™ Omni 360 so that I can paint my nails, put together patterns, sew, and type this here post. The great thing about the Ergobaby™ Omni 360 is I’ve been able to use it since BC was a week old and I haven’t had to hold back on my activities because I have a newborn.

    The Download On the Ergobaby™ Omni 360

    Ergobaby is one of the leading brands when it comes to baby wearing. In August 2017, they released the Ergobaby™ Omni 360 that is the most versatile carrier that Ergobaby has to offer. It allows you to carry both front and rear facing up to 33lbs (that’s a lot of baby!) while holding the baby in the healthiest way possible for their hips. My favorite things are that there’s a nifty pocket to hold things like your phone (super important), keys and/or wallet while providing lumbar support. It’s also really easy to adjust so that your partner can wear baby easily as well.

    So tell me, are you an avid baby wearing parent? What’s your favorite carrier?

    Have questions about baby wearing? Drop them below!

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ergobaby™ Omni 360.

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    A Quick & Dirty Guide To Cloth Diapering

    Ok, so this is more like a quick and clean guide to cloth diapering but quick and dirty sounded better ha! This is my first time cloth diapering from the newborn phase–which is much better than from the toddler phase in all honesty. There was A LOT to learn and figure out and going through tons of information was really overwhelming. I’ve pulled out some of the most pertinent information to share here in case others have questions.

    Different Types Of Cloth Diapers

    This is probably the most overwhelming part–choosing the cloth diaper that works for you and your baby. It’s especially hard because most of us shop for the diapers before the baby is born. Here’s a high-level guide to the different types of diapers:

    Wool Diapers

    These are just like how they sound–they’re little diapers that look like underwear made from wool. They’ve been pretreated to prevent bacterial growth but wool naturally absorbs wetness and odors. These are more expensive and come as diapers and leggings.

    All-In-Ones (AIO)

    These are just like disposable diapers but you wash them. There are no inserts as the the inner absorbable layer is attached to the outer layer. These are supposed to be great for newborns.

    Pocket Diapers

    These have an outer shell that contains a pocket to be stuffed with either a folded prefold diaper or an insert. These are similar to the AIO’s in the design but dry faster.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide. Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    Pull-On Diapers

    These are kind of like pull ups but aren’t just for the potty training toddler. I just ordered some of these because they come specifically sized for newborns and the way my little guys thighs are set up we need something more fitted.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    Prefold Diapers

    These are the rectangular cloths that are used with a water proof diaper cover.

    Flat Diapers

    These are similar to the prefolds but they have one level of absorbency for the whole rectangle and can be folded in various ways to be used as a diaper.

    Fitted Diapers

    These are diapers that’s have been made to look like actual diapers and have clasps. They have to be used with an outer waterproof shell but they provide a closer fit.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    What To Do When You First Get Your Cloth Diapers

    This is important namely because I had no clue it needed to be done. Everyone knows to wash all baby stuff before baby wears them. I thought just washing my inserts once was all we needed but NOPE! When you get your inserts they need to be stripped to make them absorbent. How do you do this? You can wash them about 5-6 times in hot water with cloth diaper detergent or you can wash them with a cup of bleach and Dawn. The way that you know if the diapers have been stripped is with a simple test–sprinkle some water on the insert. If it absorbs it’s been stripped properly. If it rolls off, it needs to be stripped again.

    But What About Leaks?

    They happen. Leaks can be a sign of the following:

    1. Your diaper inserts aren’t stripped.

    Go through the stripping process again!

    2. If it’s a boy, he’s penis is pointing up.

    Who knew this would make a difference but it does!

    3. They’re too big.

    I learned this the hard way. Even though the diapers say that they’ll fit newborns that’s not always true. If you can fit more than 1 finger around the waistband and thighs, they’re too big.

    4. You’re waiting too long to change them.

    Sure, they have these super big, fluffy butts but that does mean they are more absorbent!!! Disposable diapers are specially treated to make them more absorbent–cloth diapers aren’t.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    How Many Should You Have

    This was one of my questions when starting out. I wasn’t sure if I needed ALL the diapers or just a few. I knew from diapering abc that I liked hybrid diapers but I also found from shopping in person that I liked the ease of the pocket diapers.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    I registered for about 12 of the diaper covers and 24 of the inserts. By the time BC arrived, I was prepared with 24 covers and 36 inserts. I tried to calculate how many diapers a newborn would go through and add a couple more than that in case I didn’t do laundry daily. Since newborns go through quite a few diapers daily, I figured I was safe with 24. I’ve yet to run out during the day.

    What Other Things Will You Need

    In addition to the diaper and cover, you do need a couple other things to make your cloth diapering journey easier:

    Wet Bags

    These will store your used diapers until time to wash. You need one for the main area in the house you’ll be changing baby in and one for on the go to keep in your diaper bag.

    Diaper Cream

    Normal diaper creams or Vaseline may stop the diaper from absorbing properly so it’s best to use diaper creams formulated with cloth in mind.

    Laundry Detergent

    I love Molly Suds for my diapers but you’ll want a laundry detergent formulated for cloth diapers. It’ll keep them looking clean and smelling fresh. And yes, this actually makes a difference!

    Cloth Wipes

    This isn’t a “need” as much as it is a matter of convenience for diaper changes. If you use disposable wipes you need to have a garbage can there as well as opposed to being able to toss the cloth wipe into the wet bag with the dirty diaper.

    My Favorite Cloth Diapers

    Mama Koala

    These are really well made pocket diapers. I was gifted some off Amazon and have fallen in love!

    GroVia

    These are really cool hybrids that also give the option of having disposable inserts. Cool, right? If you’re in Atlanta, you can snag them from Happy Mango and if you aren’t, you can grab a starter kit here.

    Have you ever wanted to cloth diaper but feel like it's too much or overwhelming? Yeah, I've felt that way too which is why I came up with a guide.

    Fellow cloth diapering mamas did I miss anything? Mamas thinking of cloth diapering, do you have any questions?

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    Explore Georgia: Sweetwater Creek State Park

    Most days I love living in Georgia. I love how you can escape the madness that is “Hotlanta” and find yourself in a totally different world but not completely out of touch with the six lanes of bumper to bumper traffic. One of the places I love most is Sweetwater Creek State Park.

    Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    Sweetwater Creek State Park

    This week we had a homeschool field trip to learn to fish. After fishing wrapped up, my friend Ashley from Mommy Week suggested taking a walk to the ruins. The trails all start at the Visitors Center, which also has a museum, so we checked that out first.

    Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    Visitors Center

    Although quaint in size, the museum was chock full of info. It had remnants from the Civil War, Native Americans, slavery, and more. There was a classroom that contained snakes found in the area and turtles to be seen up close and personal. One of my favorite things to see was the old loon used to make fabric. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    The Red Trail

    The kids all equipped themselves with maps to guide us to the ruins that we wanted to check out. The trail is pretty easy to walk–I did it with BC strapped to me in my Tula carrier. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!I loved how there weren’t swarms of flies ready to attack me and then baby. The scenery was beautiful as the trail is along the waterside with huge rocks sprinkled about. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!

    The Ruins

    Omg they were beautiful!!! You couldn’t get to close (safety first) but just being able to see them up against the perfect backdrop of the sky and bubbling waters was breathtaking. The baby and I sat on the stairs and enjoyed the view while the kids walked around exploring. Ready? Set? Hike! You would never think that this beautiful state park is just outside the city of Atlanta. Visit Sweetwater Creek State Park today!Although I was suuuuper sore after finishing the walk I’m so happy I was able to make these memories with the kids.

    Do you go on mini adventures where you live?

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