Friday, October 23, 2015

Hospital Bag Must (Should) Haves

Back again for some hospital bag ideas! 
Just know - I am no expert, and everyone is different, but these are a few should haves and must haves I could think of for your birthing stay!

First off, know your hospital policies and procedures. 
Our hospital was 24 hours-ish for vaginal delivery and 48 hours-ish for a csection. That's important to prepare for JUST IN CASE. 

Also, a friend of mine said at their hospital once Dad was there, he couldn't leave. Dad needs to prepare for that too in his bag. 

Mommy SHOULD Haves (This also goes with what you need at home too)

Sweatpants - Comfy is best. I see some women leaving the hospital dressed in Sunday's best and their makeup on point, please know you do not have to meet this standard. Comfortable and happy. You're going home to no sleep and an unbelievable love. Your baby will not care what you look like. 

No Slip Socks  The hospital has theirs, but if you want thinner ones or even clean ones, bring your own.

Tuck Pads  My hospital provided these while I was there, I made sure to ask for some more before I left. I ended up only buying one more before I didn't them anymore. They helped ease the discomfort tremendously! 

Nursing Tanks I wish I could say these were cheap, but I haven't found them anywhere under $20 but they are lifesavers. Gunner is almost 2 months old and I'm wearing them under clothes constantly instead of bras. 

Boppy  So important for feeding at the hospital. You will be exhausted and this helps you with holding the baby while you feed. 

Thick Pads Kotex was the only brand that didn't irritate me. The hospital pads are THE BEST. Stock up while you are there as much as you can.

Flip flops My shower was super clean so I didn't have any problems not wearing flip flops, but my swelling was real bad so I needed something that would fit. 

Baby SHOULD Haves

Going Home Outfit I was not one to be overly picky about what Gunner went home in, but if you are Etsy has the cutest! 

Diaper Bag  I had three different bags full of stuff for Gunner. Take one fully stocked (diapers, wipes, meds, blankets, etc.) 

Carseat Must have. Can't leave the hospital without one :) 

Socks Our room was pretty cool, and Gunner's hands and feet get out of a swaddle in a second. Socks help keep his body temperature comfortable. 

Mittens Luckily little man didn't scratch, but I have seen some babies working in daycares who scratched their faces until they bled. This is where the mittens come in handy! 

Baby Book  Make sure you get baby's footprints and handprints! 

Sleepers  I made sure and had NB and 0-3 just in case for Gunner. He wore NB a lot longer than I expected, but I had taken 4 in case. Which was good cause he peed all over one on the second night! 

Daddy SHOULD Haves

Dad is going to be bored, don't let him fool you. Have him bring his laptop/iPad/iPhone, something. Our hospital had TVs so we watched movies, but I know the husband was real bored. 

Snacks This is for you too. All the things you couldn't have and craved while pregnant, bring them or have someone bring them. If you have the baby in the middle of the night you are going to be hungry afterwards usually. Snacks help when nothing else is open. 

Blanket and Pillow The hospital will more than likely have blankets and pillows, but if your husband is super picky - make sure he brings his own. 

Comfy clothes He's going to be sitting around/laying around with you. He doesn't need to be in his Sunday's best. 


Phone Charger  You are also going to be bored if you are getting induced or scheduled csection, a lot of wait time. You don't want to just sit there, you will go stir crazy.

Medela TenderCare Lanolin Oil This was my favorite brand. You can also use coconut oil! The Laniosh Lanolin stained my clothes with an oil stain and I was real unhappy. 

Phone This is what we used for pictures, if you have a camera and want pictures on there, make sure you bring that too!! 


That first shower to wash your hair will be magical, as well as when you can finally brush your teeth. Don't forget these items! 

Robe This was important for me. I didn't wear regular clothes until we left, but the robe is so easy to breastfeed and use the bathroom, etc. 

Happy parenting! :) 

Spooky BOGO

I posted this awhile back on my Instagram - I am OBSESSED when it starts to become Halloween time! Partly because it leads to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The ER months are definitely my favorite. I've said that in several recent posts. Granted, I am from Oklahoma and sure miss fall weather, I still love the way the air feels, the PSL (I'm a basic white girl I guess, judge me), layering clothing, leggings, and everyone's moods are just so much brighter. 

I have FOUR products in my Teachers Pay Teachers store directed to 2nd-4th grade ELA classrooms. 

Because of that I am going to bring to you: 

The top two are NEW products, that I LOVE. I was having serious withdrawals not being in the classroom on Halloween (maternity leave), but I am going to offer a BOGO. You buy one of these, pick another, buy two, get the other two. 
Just two rules:
1. Please leave feedback 
2. Take pictures and post on Instagram! 
I love seeing my products in action.
Here are the bottom two from last year!

(This page is a freebie on my TPT store!

These are screen shots of my two newest products! 

Just email me at your name and the product you bought and which one you want for free! Tell all of your friends :) 

Happy Haunting! 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Baby Registry Must (Should) Haves

Being a new mom comes with your brain opening to a whole new world out there that you had more than likely never thought about before.

There were a lot of things I immediately added to my registry, the basics of course, diapers, wipes, bottles, etc. Then there were things I didn't even think about until right before he was here, or now that he's a month old I am finding myself going out and buying. 

These are my top 11 things that should definitely go on your registry so you aren't the first one to go out at 11pm at night and buy in a hurry! 

1. Aden + Anais Swaddlers - I know these are expensive, and if you can have someone else get them off your registry it's a great deal. I was given a TON of blankets and a few cloth swaddlers before Gunner got here, then I realized these blankets were light enough that he wasn't waking up drenched in sweat at night time. (Hot blooded like his daddy) 

2. Munchkin Bottle Drying Rack -  This rack holds a LOT. When you are breastfeeding and pumping you go through a lot of dirty bottles from moving milk to freezer bags or moving to all one bottle, etc. So I needed something that held a LOT and wasn't taking over a big space in my house. 

3. Buybuybaby Dish Drying Mat - I'm not a fan of water everywhere and constantly cleaning after washing bottles. My mom went out and found a baby drying mat at our local grocery store and I LOVE it. I found this one and it's super cheap!

4. Nosefrida - Now, before you judge this nose sucker just know YOU ARE NOT SUCKING IT INTO YOUR MOUTH. I was freaked out at first too, I promise. There's a filter and plastic blocking you from even getting anything you suck out. I don't think you should totally get rid of the sucker from the hospital, I still use that, but right now Gunner has serious congestion and I use the saline spray and then the nosefrida and I get everything out! It's a miracle worker.

5. BRICA Baby in Sight Mirror - Best $15 I have ever spent. As a mother you're constantly wanting to look at your baby and I felt the urge and need even more in the car. This eases my stress big time. 

6. Boppy - Luckily I was given one of these, but it never even crossed my mind to add one to the registry or to buy one. When anyone feeds Gunner it's a life saver. Now that he's a little bigger he can lean in it to sit up and he loves it. It has many uses and is well worth every dollar! 

7. Dr. Brown's Bottle Warmer - I didn't think I was going to need one of these ever, I figured it wouldn't be a big deal at all. Surprisingly at first it wasn't. Gunner LOVED cold bottles for a few weeks, then he hated them. My friend asked what I needed still and this was my immediate response. So now we have to make sure the bottle is warmed up in enough time for him to stop thinking he's never going to eat again ;) . 

8. Footless PJ's - This is a weird one, but something I have spend maybe $50 on already for little man. He is a longer baby and we didn't know that, who does? BUT he also is very warm blooded and gets hot super fast at night. He HATED the footies. He will wear them more now than the first 3 weeks, and those first 3 weeks I just wanted him comfy so I could get a full hour and half stretch sleep. These are AMAZING. I bought maybe 15 from The Children's Place. 

9. 10. 11. 
Gripe Water - How I wish I had had this on hand when his belly first started hurting. It's nerve wrecking to be a new mom and your child is in such discomfort and has the worst hiccups and you have no idea how to help. The first dose of this and he was like a new baby. It was amazing. 
Gas Relief Drops -  Breastfeeding equals blow outs a lot at the beginning, and a lot of gas. I haven't had to give this to little man much, but it helps get the gas out and even get the gas to poop whenever he has had trouble pooping the last few weeks. 
Saline Spray - We are a family of seasonal allergies and congestion. Poor baby inherited that for sure. He's been snotty for a few weeks and I started using the saline spray then the Nosefrida and it gets all those boogers out of his little nasal cavity. 

I hope these are a few ideas for you first time, second time, third time, etc. mommies. I looked up a lot of stuff and still missed things. It happens, plus every baby is different!!!

Happy parenting! :) 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

East Texas Photography - Maternity and Newborn Session

When I lived in Oklahoma I met April through a strange coincidence. April owned a 24 hour tanning business and I was all about that, and we had a lot of mutual friends, but I never actually knew her. When it came to getting signed up for tanning I had to get ahold of her through her personal phone number and sign up through her at the shop. Long story short, once we got to talking more and more, she became a sort of big sister I never had. We had a lot in common when it came to the loves of our lives, the one that got away, and came back. She gave me some of the best advice anyone had ever given me in my love life, as well as when I was job hunting. (Which I'm forever grateful for girl. Thank you!) As fate would have it, we ended up both moving to Texas within a couple weeks together, EXCEPT I moved to south Texas and she moved to more north/eastern Texas. 

April started her own photography business - she had always been one for her own businesses - but she started literally from the ground up. She taught herself, and it's phenomenal. 

When we found out we were pregnant, I kept seeing more and more of her pictures on her Facebook, and I knew I wanted her to take Gunner's pictures. 

Her and her Husband Stoney came down to go to dinner and take our maternity pictures in Gruene, Texas. 
It was HOT, and my legs look like STUMPS, but she did AMAZING.

After these I had told her we would make the trip up there for pictures of Gunner. I was super nervous about the trip with a few day old baby, but he did really well, and it turned out amazing. 

He gave us some heck at the beginning, little stink did NOT want to go to sleep. These are a few shots she was able to get while trying to get him to sleep. 

 Aren't these even AMAZING - nontraditional and still gorgeous. (Little partial to my little man, but you get my gist ;) ha)

Once we took some outside, she came back in and ended with the football pictures. You will see why. 

My advice to you, if you live in north/east/middle of Texas - take the time to make an appointment with April. My husband was so impressed with April and her passion for her "job" he could not stop talking about. She's fantastic and super affordable. I could not be more proud and obsessed with the shots she got of our pride and joy. 

You can see her portfolio here:

April does some of the cutest mini shoots too, for example, a circus theme - your kids will LOVE. 
We are heading back to Troup, Texas for Christmas minis with the family. Let me know if you live in the area and head her way. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Behind the Name - Texas Forever & a Giveaway

It took a long time for me to figure out what I wanted to do blog wise. I attempted to keep up with just a teaching blog, and I couldn't be as on top of it as others. I found myself forgetting to take photos during those amazing teaching moments and then I had no way to blog or document how amazing it had went. I also found myself wanting to talk about every other aspect in my life that I am overly passionate about. I look at my Instagram account (mrs_cmt1489) and immediately think of this quote: 

I didn't want to create a social media account strictly for my classroom, and for my personal life. Others choose to separate and I totally get it, but I want other people to relate to me and see my life through pictures just as much as anyone elses. 

Texas Forever

What does this mean? 

I am from Oklahoma, born and bred, and I will always be an Oklahoma Girl (cue Eli Young Band) - BUT moving to Texas was the absolute best thing I could have ever done. 

As a child in middle school, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I graduated in December 2010 in Oklahoma and couldn't get hired anywhere | You need experience. Those three words began to be the most depressing and heartbreaking words I had ever heard in my life. I was over it, and was beginning to give up on my passion. 

Chance left for Texas in February 2011 and at that time I wasn't ready, we had been together over 4 years - BUT. My dad had recently had his second heart attack and I was most certainly not going to leave with that hanging over my head. Inevitably it led to us fighting, there was a lot more but I sum it up by saying: he needed to mature, and I needed to immature. As weird as that sounds, we both had things we needed to grow and change. Eventually we broke up, and he was in Texas and I was still in Oklahoma. 

Fast forward 7 months 
I am still not real sure how we started having conversations again that were cordial, but we did. We decided to meet up in October half way - which would be Dallas - and the rest is history.

I decided to move after my teachers aid job was over in May 2012. That was a hard long distance relationship, but so worth it. 

August 2012
First dream come true 
Thank God for sorority sisters. Teaching - it's all about who you know in some circumstances. A sister went out of her way with her Grandmother who had connections and on August 6 my first dream came true, a kindergarten teaching position. 

Another dream come true. Chance took me to the coast for my birthday the weekend of August 18. 

We set the date for October 19, 2013 - Our original anniversary from 2007. 

Our wedding would follow October 19 the next year. 

Most of you know our next dream as a couple was for a baby and Gunner's story you can find here

Fast forward almost two years later and Gunner Byron Thomas arrived. 

Texas Forever is a statement from Friday Night Lights that I find myself associating with often. I may love and miss Oklahoma, but I will never go back. If it wasn't for Texas, I strongly believe all of my dreams may have never happened and played out like they have. This blog is going to be just that, an insight into where all of my dreams came true. 

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