Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Green Toys

I don't know who has more fun with the toys in our house:
the kids or
the parents who still think they're kids?????!!!!
I know this is annoyingly crunchy to say, but in our home I try to have only natural fiber toys (mostly wood, and nothing with lights or songs).  I do this because I like to keep their toys as close to the earth as possible to leave enough room for the imagination.  When Dutch opened his Green Toy Christmas gifts from my dad this past year I was practically jumping up and down!  I had never heard of the company before, but have definitely educated myself now and made several purchases (ooooooopsies!!!)
Opening our Green Toys on Christmas….
…and proof that daddy plays with the toys in this house lolDSC_0231DSC_0233
Green Toys is an eco-friendly company that makes toys from 100% recycled fibers in the USA.  All of their toys pass national and international safety standards.  Everything from the brainstorming and the manufactoring of the toy, to the packaging is safe for children and the planet.  Their philosophy is:
 “By creating products made free of harm to children and the planet, we nurture young minds and bright futures.”    c26-B008KCQRR0-3-l

I just love love love loooooooooooove companies like this and want to support them.  They have so many great toys (check them out here and here).  Thanks to his grandpa, Dutch has the airplane and the submarine (which often become bath toys).  Ellis got the keys and the teether in her Easter basket this year.
 Green Toy Airplane
Green Toy SubmarineGreen Toy KeysGreen Toy Teether

We have a pretty big wish-list of toys we want from Green Toys! Seriously, if you have not heard of this company, I highly recommend it.  We are defintiely big fans and supporters :-)
I was not paid for this post, but if Green Toys wants to start paying me I'd gladly accept the compensation ;-)
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What a Love, What a Cost

Happy Easter week!
I had a few posts scheduled for this week, but decided to postpone them.  Instead I'm sharing my favorite Easter song with you.  I've got this on constant repeat lately!
Enjoy your weekend with family :-)

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath—
We stand forgiven at the cross.

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of sin.
Ev'ry bitter thought,
Ev'ry evil deed
Crowning Your bloodstained brow.

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the vict'ry cry.

Oh, to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering I am free.
Death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live,
Won through Your selfless love.

This, the pow'r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross.
xoxo Darby

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hawley Peeps Monthly: Month Two

Well another month has passed!  I can't believe that Ellis has been apart of our lives for two months.  How is that possible?! Maybe I have forgotten how to count?! This just can't be right!!!  
Am I going to say this every month??! You betcha!
One Month recap

 Month Two- Dutch
  • First bottle when you were about 6 weeks old
  • Daddy watched you for the first time without mama while she got her nails done at 7 weeks
  • You went to your first parade on the 4th of July, which was the first holiday we got to celebrate with you.
  • We went out to eat as a family at Grimaldi’s for the first time since labor
  • Every day you’re getting more and more alert.
  • You had your first nap in the crib...though by accident because mommy was taking pictures and you fell asleep
  • You’re tracking with your eyes very well.
  • You are starting to eat every 3 hours
  • You’re sleeping every 2-3 hours
  • Between weeks 3 and 5 you had a big growth spurt
  • At week 5 you were sleeping a little less
  • You love the Moby and to be worn.
  • At 5 weeks you had your first babysitter, Lisa, while mama and daddy went on a double date
  • You love having Amazing Grace sung to you. I always sang that to you when I was pregnant
  • You got your 1st roll on right thigh at 5 weeks
  • You love going outside, looking at ceiling fans, and kicking your legs
  • At 7 weeks you started cloth diapers, went to church, and started sleeping 4-6 hrs at night
  • During the day you love to be held and will sleep as long as you’re being held until the next feeding (we are still every 3 hrs).  At night your first stretch of sleep is 4-5 hours now, and then between 2am-8am you are up every 45 minutes.
  • You gave us your first smile on 7/27 as we were taking you out if your carrier at home after church at 7 weeks old
  • At your 2 month appointment you weighed 12 lbs (40%), were 24 in long (88%) and your head was 15 inches around (50%).  You had your vaccines and did great…..mama did much worse than you and cried longer than you
  • You’re doing a log of cooing and more alert looking around
  • Mama & daddy think this is crazy, but you had your first school interview at 8 weeks, had the second interview a week later.  You were accepted.

Month Two- Ellis
  • I used your last newborn diaper on 2/19 and though they still fit I'm not going to buy anymore because I don’t know how much longer you will wear them.  You're starting to get very long.  You’re wearing size 1 diapers until you are big enough for our cloth diapers.
  • Your eyes are still blue.  I have no doubt that they will be changing colors soon simply based on the gene pool. 
  • At 6 weeks old we had our first weekend with just mama, Dutch, & Ellis. Daddy went camping.
  • You don't like when mama gorges on chocolate; it makes your tummy gassy and hurt.
  • Your hair is starting to a little red, and I love it :-)
  • You are starting to coo and talk with us
  • I think this is just crazy, but you still get the hiccups everyday around 4:30 like you did when you were in my tummy.
  • You are doing so much better with being cold for diaper changes.  They no longer tick you off and you don't cry about them anymore.
  • Around 4 weeks you got your first cold. A runny nose and and a small cough.  You handled it like a champ.
  • Mama loves the sound you make when you are sucking on your pacifier; it's so cute!
  • At 5 weeks old you went to your first birthday party.  It was the first real event you went to.
  • The first trip to church as a family of four was when you were 6 weeks old and you slept through the entire service. 
  • During the day, when Dutch takes his nap, mama holds you and snuggles you the entire time.
  • You very rarely cry, but if you do it’s because you’re hungry, have to toot and your kicking your legs, or there was a really big sound (like the dogs barking)
  • Our ceiling fans make you smile
  • At 6 weeks old, you are still wearing newborn clothes, but I'm starting to move you into 0-3 month clothes.
  • Your eyelashes are starting to grow and they are so pretty!
  • When you were just days old we noticed that you had a dimple on your right cheek just like your brother, but you only had one.  Now that you're cheeks are getting a little more plump and kissable, we've definitely seen that you have another dimple on your left cheek.  It is so adorable! We do things to try to make you smile just so that we can see your dimples.
  • At 7 weeks old I am starting to pack up your newborn clothes.  They still fit for the most part but they are starting to look a little tight.  The 0-3 clothes are still drowning you but not as bad.
  • Your hair is starting to grow in at your hairline on your forehead.  It's so soft and light.
  • Daddy gave you your first bottle at 7 weeks old. 
  • At 7 weeks I left you for the first time with someone else, Aunt Grace, for about 2 hours.  You did great with your cousins.
  • It doesn’t matter what time of day or where we are, if you are wrapped and mama is wearing you, you are so happy and sleepy.
  • Somewhere between 6 and 7 weeks you started to get some rolls on your upper thighs.  They are so cute!
  • We found a second birthmark!  When we were in the hospital we noticed that you had one on your forehead (on the right side in your hairline) but we've found another one on your left forearm :-)
  • At about 8 weeks you're starting to wake up more and more.  You like around and take in everything.
  • You love being outside and looking at the sky and trees.
  • At your 2 month appt you are 11 lbs 2 oz (47%), and 23 in tall (79%) so you're a long string bean.  You're doing great with holding your head up and tracking, you still eat every 2-3 hours.
  • You sleep a lot in the morning and are generally up all evening until about 8pm when you start sleeping in 3 hours stretches.  You get up to eat and then go right back to sleep.  You love sleeping with mama and daddy still.
  • You are a very cheerful baby, and spend a good bit of your waking time smiling.

xoxo Darby

Friday, March 18, 2016

*NEW* Newborn Must-Haves

After Dutch was born I wrote a couple of posts and shared them with y’all about what I learned my newborn needed and what I needed after bringing my baby home (Newborn Must-Haves and New Mama Must-Haves).  When I was getting ready to bring home baby #2, I gathered up everything from my former posts so that I would be even more ready this time around.  I don’t know if these posts have helped you, but I am so glad I wrote those posts; they have helped me tremendously.  Even though it was less than 2 years ago, I think I forgot what it was like to have a newborn and to recover from birth at the same time; those lists have SAVED me lol  Anyways I have some items to add to those lists that I learned about with both Dutch and Ellis!
1. The Ultimate Crib Sheet- Other veteran mamas told me about this when I was pregnant with Dutch & I'm so glad that they did!  This will save. you. sleep.  This is a sheet that goes on top of the crib sheet; so it goes mattress, mattress cover, bed sheet, ultimate crib sheet.  It hooks onto the rails of the crib and has soft fabric on the side that touches baby and a plastic side that points towards the mattress.  When bodily fluids get loose (read: The Three P's: poop, pee, & puke), and I promise they will, the sheet catches the fluid from running down the sides of the actual crib as well as prevents it from going through the sheets.  In the middle of the night when the flu hits (and it always comes in the middle of the night) you just have to unhook the ultimate crib sheet and put a new one down and you can skip mass loads of laundry through your sleepy eyes.  I have 2 per kid: one that is always on their bed and one at the ready when they need to be swapped quickly.  I also have one on my side of the bed when babies are sleeping with can never be too careful with these sneaky kiddos ;-)

2. *More* Nursing Gowns- Two is NOT enough! I learned this with Dutch so when Ellis was getting ready to arrive I bought several new nursing gowns and this one is my favorite right now.

3. Little Unicorn Swaddle Sets- When I was pregnant with Dutch everyone raved about the famous Aden + Anais muslin blankets....well my friends Little Unicorn blankets are better!  Yep, better!  These muslin blankets are great for swaddling or throwing over a baby carrier.  Their prints are gorgeous (my favorite set is Garden Rose), but they are also very large blankets, much bigger than the Aden + Anais...friends these are just awesome and versatile.

4. Natural Pacifier-I came across this as I was preparing to bring Ellis home.  I know every baby has their preferred pacifier and I wanted to try this one.  This a natural BPA-free rubber pacifier that is softer than silicon pacifiers.  The design mimics the shape of the breast, even touching baby's nose, so that it wont cause nipple confusion.  We love this and so does Ellis!

5. New Toys to Hide & Entertain- I keep a couple toys in my diaper bag that are only played with when we are out so that they stay novel & serve as entertainment when we need to be quiet (e.g. waiting rooms, restaurants, etc.).  I try to have only natural fiber toys (mostly wood, and nothing with lights or songs.  I like to keep their toys as close to the earth as possible to leave room for the imagination.  I love Melissa and Doug products & these cars are great for my diaper bag because they stack, but also the paint used in these toys is lead-free…’d be surprised how many toys still have lead-based paints :-(

6. The Solly Wrap- I've mentioned before that I love to baby wear and have even written a tutorial for making your own woven wrap, so this should be no surprise.  The Mr. likes carriers, but I prefer wraps; a wrap just feels so natural to me.  When Dutch was little I used the Moby and when I got pregnant I used a woven wrap for back carries, and before I have said that it doesn't matter what you use just get something that you like and can use often.  That still applies...there are a bazillion carriers and wraps, just get one that works for you and baby!  The Solly Wrap is now my new favorite for newborns.  It is a nice stretchy material that is perfect for tiny squishy babies and it is lightweight, which is important in Houston!

7. Magnificent Baby- Y’all the baby industry is ever-evolving!  There is now a onesie/gown option that closes with magnets.  MAGNETS people!!! You don’t even have to open your eyes to close this thing.  Now you probably should have your eyes open, because, duh you’re holding a baby, but just think about how much easier it is to close this thing in the middle of the night?!?!?!  Total lifesaver……or should I say sleep saver?!?!?!

So those are my latest newborn must-haves!
Have you come across something new that I've got to try??? 
Please send me your finds!!!!
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Miss My Belly!

I started to share some of my maternity pictures with Ellis a while ago, but since I’m missing that big ‘ole belly a lot today, I thought I'd share all of them with you!  Of course I have to give a HUGE shout out to the amazing Grace Hill for taking these pictures so I can always look back on this sweet time in my life.  Don't tell the Mr. this, but we're going to need to buy a new house.....a new bigger house with more walls so I can have allllll of these pictures printed and hung up ;-)edits-0047edits-0048edits-0056edits-0059edits-0061edits-0036edits-0037edits-0042edits-0038edits-0040edits-0027edits-0022edits-0008edits-0014  edits-000611029987_781463748649324_5420271394165551698_n11046247_788005111328521_3359109598732452399_n12357103_788010384661327_6906171716121979184_o12486077_798709273591438_6281926315246182385_o
xoxo Darby

Monday, March 14, 2016

Teeny Peep’s Birthday

I’ve ALWAYS loved birth stories; they are so beautiful and miraculous and never fail to make me cry.  While I have shared a video with y’all about our stay in the hospital, I haven't shared the details on Ellis’ birth yet.  In an effort to be completely transparent with you, I’m still processing her birth.  Labor and delivery for Dutch was physically and psychologically tough on me (emergency situations, cardiovascular distress, postpartum hemorrhaging, etc.), so we were prayerful that this birth would be completely different.  Unfortunately, due to the complications from this birth I still have a lot of healing and talking with God that I need to do before I’m ready to share my story.  I’ve written the details of the day so that I wont forget them in the newborn haze, but I just need a little more time to process the experience.  God is at work so I have no doubt that I will have a great story to share with you, but if you get a chance please pray for complete healing for us.  Until then, I wanted to share some precious pictures with you of Ellis’ birthday and hospital stay. 

I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have these pictures.  The experience of birth & hospital stay is so fleeting and unlike anything else I’ve experienced, and those first few days are so fast & crazy.  I’m so so so so grateful that these moments are stamped in these photos for all time to look back and remember the precious first moments.  If you get a chance to have someone else take your hospital pictures I highly recommend Grace Hill Photography……seriously I cannot look at these pictures without tearing up.  She perfectly captured some of the sweetest moments of my life.

Meeting our sweet Ellis
Happy birthay baby girl!hostipt-0047hostipt-0043hostipt-0059hostipt-0016hostipt-0017hostipt-0018hostipt-0044hostipt-0052hostipt-0061hostipt-0028hostipt-0032hostipt-0036hostipt-0042Introducing our babies to each other. 
I was really nervous about this moment and tried to prepare Dutch for it as much as I knew how to.  We read books and talked about babies and practiced saying her name for months.  I had gifts ready for him at the hospital from Ellis in case the introduction went sour.  But there was no need to worry.  It was as if they already knew each other; they were instant friends.  It is so amazing to see Dutch and Ellis interact.  He is so sweet and gentle with her and she just loves to smile at him.  I pray they are always this close and kind to one another. 
But for mama, I heard this would happen, and wow was it true:  Dutch used to look so small to me until we introduced him to Ellis.  All of a sudden he looks like such a big boy!  Time stole my baby boy!
Sweet Ellis, I wish I could thoroughly explain how ecstatic we are that you’re here, safe and healthy.  You fit so perfectly into our family.  I feel like we have always known you, yet we are so excited to get to know you better.  We are very much looking forward to living life with you and loving on you.  We pray that God helps us to raise you as a godly woman.  Little one, you are so so so so loved!hostipt-0064
xoxo Darby
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