We're dreaming about nice sunny weather over here in Washington state. It's been pretty gloomy and rainy the last few weeks. We've gotten random spurts of sunshine and definitely have been taking advantage of it by going on walks and getting out but we're still missing the water! So I've decided to do a lot of water play with Calvin lately. When the weather is nice, we take our inflatable bathtub outside or we simply just play in the bathtub.
Nuby water play toys!
We are obsessed with Nuby products because they're so fun and affordable. I just love that they're available at basically every retail store.
These Silly Squirts are so fun! I get nervous with most water toys because I don't like the idea of having water trapped inside. I don't want mold or mildew to grow inside of them and especially since Calvin puts everything in his mouth. These Silly Squirts untwist so you can easily clean and dry them! You can also mix and match the tops and bottoms to make them look even more silly. We also read that you can use soapy water to squirt bubbles so we'll have to try that!
You can find these on Nuby's Website or HEB.
These Little Squirts are just adorable. They come in a pack of 10 little sea characters (we are missing 2. The little one was currently playing with them when we took these photos). They're soft and easy to squeeze. Each character squirts water through their mouth! I love the vibrant colors and how easy easy it was to squeeze water though them.
You can find these on Amazon!
Beautifully simple customized gifts
We recently received some gorgeous customized gifts from Pinhole Press and we're beyond impressed! Pinhole Press allows you to customize personal gifts straight from your phone or computer! We love how easy it was to upload images and create our items. Everything was so easy to crop and edit! You're able to autofocus and filter images to maximize the picture quality! Speaking of quality, holy smokes, they're amazing! Every item is thick and durable! They have everything from calendars, magnets, wall art/decor, books, games and more!
We made a book about Calvin's Family and we're obsessed! The pages are so thick and the spiral binding seems like it'll last a long time! We love the glossy finish and ease of turning the pages! Our book has photos of single family members and then Calvin with each member. The last page ends up with a full family photo that says, "Our family." Isn't that precious? You can customize it to say anything you want and input any photos.
These memory cards are so much fun! You can have them printed on matte or glossy finish. You get 12 cards and they're super thick! I honestly love the quality of these because they'll definitely last but the thickness is also important not to see the photo when flipped over- LOL.Although Calvin is too young to play with them, he's having a lot of fun recognizing the photos! I cannot wait for him to be able to play with these!
A special gift or keepsake
Let Pinhole Press create precious keepsakes for you, your family and friends! You'll be sure to cherish these items forever!
Use code: Jenni15 for 15% off your order
Essentially Jenni is partnered with Nuby's Parent Blogger program and we received many items as gifts. All reviews are honest and genuine about their products.
Introducing the new...
In terms of price, it's $399 but you won't be disappointed. You might be turned off at the price at first but I can promise you it's worth every penny! It's very comparable to other high end strollers on the market but even better! It comes already assembled in the box. You literally just take it out of the bag and can use it!
lightweight meets luxury!
This is the MOST compact stroller I have ever seen. It closes down to a little square!
The wheels on this stroller drives like butter! I mentioned above that this stroller comes assembled already so you don't have to worry about attaching the wheels before using it. If you do have to replace the wheels for whatever reason or want to take it off to clean, you simply detach it with some buttons on the side. So far we've taken it around to the grocery store, library, to the lake and park! We haven't had any issues on any terrain and I think it's because of the 4-wheel built in suspension!
The 5-point harness is adjustable and so easy to use. It never gets stuck and clips/unclips so easily. You can just push down from the center and all points of the harness detaches! This makes getting baby out so quick and easy!
It has a back pocket! This was so convenient when we were out. The pocket is as deep as the entire seat!
Zippered extension makes it easy to adjust the seat! Unlike other strollers, the seat extension is hidden in the zipper and out of the way when not used.
The under basket is HUGE! You can easily store your diaper bag or some groceries below!
Very easy flip-flop brake system locks and unlocks the wheels!
giveaway with @ofafternoons
custom ultrasound embroidery
We had so many questions and wonderful compliments on our customized ultrasound stitching from @ofafternoons so we partnered up to give one away! .
1. Follow @essentiallyjennimcculloch and @ofafternoons
2. Tag as many friends below in separate comments. Each tag is an additional entry.
3. Share this post to your IG stories and tag @essentiallyjennimcculloch for 10 additional entries .
This giveaway is in no way sponsored or hosted by Instagram. Winner must reside in the US. Giveaway closes Thursday and winner will be announced Friday in stories.
This is our favorite spoon for feeding now! There's no more messes involved because you're able to put your purees inside the feeder spoon and slowly squeeze. It seals the food inside so well that it doesn't leak. I especially enjoy the fact that there are measurements on the side so you can keep track of how much baby eats.
You can find these on Amazon!
This is such a fun spoon to teach baby to feed themselves. It's thick and has great texture so it's easy for them to hold. The textures are also great for relieving any teething pains. There's the round safe guard that is very useful for preventing them to gag/choke.
You can find these at Walmart!
Easy grip bottle brushes
The sponge tip helps scrub out any fat residue and crevices. The soft bristles assure that you get everything. The bottom piece detaches and useful to clean smaller nooks and crannies such as anti-colic pieces or bottle nipples. The end also has a looped handle making it easy to hang to dry!
You can find these on Amazon, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby Direct stores and more.
Calvin isn't old enough to use these in the bath yet but we've been loving them for sensory play. We place them in a pan and fill it up with water and other floating toys. He gets to practice more tummy time and splash! These stacking boats are light and colorful. You can turn them upside down for such a fun waterfall! You get a total of about 5 boats that stack on top of each other making it super easy to store away.
You can find these on Amazon.
Calvin's latch was pretty solid at the beginning and I was definitely an over producer. I was able to save a lot of milk and get that stored in our deep freezer. I was so engorged from the beginning and was leaking a ton. My best friend bought me a silicone letdown catcher so I used that at every feeding on the opposite breast.
You pull the flange back and attach it onto the opposite breast and the natural suction just pulls your milk out. This was so convenient because I didn't need any addition pieces or anything and it just pulled all my milk out. Like I mentioned, I used it at EVERY feeding. It would catch 3-4oz of milk on average and I would still be able to switch him to feed on that side.
Disposable vs reusable
I didn't like the thought of having to wash reusable ones ALL the time so I tried disposable nursing pads. Welp, I hated them! For some reason they all made me itchy. I tried Medela, Lansinoh, Bamboobies, generic brands and more. I just didn't like them. I actually loved using organic reusable nursing pads. I bought 2 sets and just washed them about every other day.
Many of my friends were able to purchase their breast pump through insurance prior to delivering baby. Unfortunately that wasn't the case with me. My insurance allowed me to "choose" a pump but they wouldn't ship it out until baby arrived. This meant my husband had to call the day we had Calvin.
Using the breast pump
I wanted to be able to bring the pump to the hospital but since they wouldn't ship it until he was born, we didn't have that option. I would highly recommend you to bring your breast pump to the hospital and work with a lactation consultant before going home. This way they can help you navigate all of the settings and making sure everything fits nicely so you maximize your milk supply with it.
Freeze the milkies
What happened after 4 months
of feeding for us?
Well if you noticed above, I have the S2 Spectra. The pump itself is pretty large! I hated having to lug it around for the day when we're out and about. So I actually purchased a second pump. I had to find one that was comparable and adaptable with some of my Spectra parts. I definitely needed something much more compact because I hated bringing a second large backpack or tote to carry my pump.
I opted for the Motif Duo breast pump. The suction isn't as strong as the Spectra but it definitely does the job. It's also very quiet. The best part was it fits in the palm of my hand! I can also stick it in my pocket if I needed (from my jacket or leggings with the side pocket for your phone).
The Motif Duo tubing also fit on my Spectra bottles which meant I didn't have to buy any additional flanges or pieces.
I'm honestly just thankful that I produce enough milk to feed him and that he's fine with taking a bottle. This is great because anybody can feed him without a fight. If my milk runs dry and we run out of our frozen stash and need to use formula, I'll keep you guys posted!
Our feeding journey has been such a rollercoaster. Nothing is every consistent with a baby! Everything changes once you think you've got things figured out. So if you're a new mama or soon to be mama, know that things probably won't go as planned! Just go with it and do what you think is necessary and don't be afraid to ask for help! Remember, fed is best!
I've teamed up with a couple of my favorite shops to host this amazing giveaway. ONE lucky winner will receive the goodies pictured above! Entering is easy. .
Here are the steps enter:
- Click this link to enter on Instagram
@Hafmall_Official diaper backpack
@Milky__Chic nursing poncho
@HuxnHarper 2 silicone teethers, 2 teething rings and a "Mom Life" keychain
@DreameggOfficial sound machine with night light
Giveaway closes on Feb. 12th at 12pm PST.
This giveaway is not affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram. Must be 18 years of age or older. No purchases necessary.
Newborns and tummy time?
is it a good idea?
Why is tummy time important and recommended?
- Have baby start tummy time on your chest! We had him on our chest before a feeding or throughout the day. It's great and motivating because they are close to you and release more oxytocin!
- We used a boppy nursing pillow or lounger to help prop him up. Our physical therapist recommended this because it helps them see a different angle of the world. At the beginning it helped support him a bit more than just flat on the couch or mat.
- Do it often!
- Use toys or props to motivate them. As they continue to do it, they'll start reaching and grabbing for things.
- Find out when they're the happiest and do it. For us it was right when he woke up or right before bed!
I've heard a lot of moms rave about bottle warmers and bottle sterilizers but wasn't sure if we should get another "thing" to take up space on our counters. There's a ton out there and all have mixed reviews. So how were we to figure out which one to get? My husband and I opted out of registering or purchasing a sterilizer for while because we figured we would just wash Calvin's bottles right away or boil it to sterilize. This was great until we actually used a sterilizer. In my opinion they're definitely worth it! We have a big sterilizer by Pabalic that we sterilize our big 8 oz bottles, toys and bigger items. But we use our Nuby one-touch electric warmer and sterilizer every day and sterilize just about every other day.
Nuby's one-touch electric warmer & sterilizer
Inside of the warmer/sterilizer is a small tray. For small items such as bink binks (pacifiers) and nipples, toss it inside of the tray, attach the lid and push the button down to sterilize.
I love that it has that inner tray. It helps prevent your bottle or small items to touch the heating plate. I also love that it's small and compact so it's not taking much counter space. It's small and easy to store in a cupboard if you're not using it everyday.
This one-touch electric warmer and sterilizer is available at Amazon, Walmart and most retailers.
Here's how we care for our bottles to make sure they're long lasting
We use our Nuby easy clean soap dispensing bottle brush with a suction base and Dapple's bottle and dish soap to clean all of our bottles and nipples. We also like to use our small Munchkin bottle and cup cleaners to get in the nooks and crannies.
I'll take all of the bottle pieces apart and stick in in the sink. Sometimes i'll soak it with some Dapple soap in a bucket while I wash the pieces. I use the Nuby soap dispensing brush to clean the large pieces and the Munchkin brushes to get in the small spaces. This was important and really helpful for my pump flanges and the small pieces for my bottle.
Why do we use these specific items?
- Nuby easy clean soap dispensing bottle brush: It's in the name! The soap reservoir actually holds quite a lot of soap. It also tightens well which prevents any leakage. It's super easy to dispense soap without wasting any. I also love that the suction base is super strong! I can suction it on the side of my sink and allow it to air dry without it flopping off. I also really like how firm the bristles are. It definitely gets all the milk residue. This was important because my breastmilk can be very fatty and sometimes you can see the fatty film inside the bottle- gross, I know! This bottle brush is great for wide mouth bottles such as my pumping bottles. It is a bit of a struggle to get into narrow neck bottles but it's not unmanageable.
- Available at Walmart, Amazon and most retailers
- Munchkin bottle and cup cleaner brushes are great because they come with various size cleaner bristles. This was the only way I found to clean between some of the nooks and crannies of my anti-colic bottle pieces or pumping flanges.
- Available at Target, Amazon and most retailers
- Dapple bottle and dish soap is something I recommend and buy for all of my friends. It's plant based and hypoallergenic! It's also the only dish soap I found that works quick! It cleans your bottle and pieces super fast and clean without all the crazy suds and bubbles.
- Available at Target, Amazon and most retailers
All reviews are honest and genuine about their products.