Thursday, April 27, 2017

prepping for hawaii + jord giveaway

we leave for H A W A I I (eek!) in just 3 days!
to say we are excited is a complete understatement. we booked the trip seven weeks out from going and since the minute we booked it, it's all we've been looking forward to. especially harper. the girl talks about going to hawaii nearly every day. and I'm certain she has no idea what is to come. 
though traveling and vacationing with two littles under the age of three will not be easy, brandon and I are so excited to share this week with our babes and to watch harper's excitement over the week. priceless moments ahead.
packing for four of us for eight days a way, is I've put so much thought into what we do and don't need to take along with us. in preparation for traveling & vacationing with the babes, we're doing our best to bring what we need to make it a little easier on all of us. gosh- there is so much stuff when traveling with kids!!! but I'd rather bring what we need to make vacationing a bit better too. so it's a love-hate as we load our suitcases and pack the car to the brim.
everything and the kitchen sink filling up our bedroom and suitcases as we get closer to leaving.
car seat travel bags. portable DVD player. snacks. travel highchair seat. pack 'n play. monitors. white noise machine. stroller. clothes, shoes, suits, toiletries x4.
...but the most important coming along with us is my mom! we are so happy (and thankful!!) to have her coming with us. the memories of this vacation will stick with us forever.
I'm not too much of an accessories girl. I'm kinda the simple, everyday jewelry wearer. it's always my wedding ring (of course), the diamond earrings brandon got me for my birthday, and my harper + tanner name stamped necklace.
so needless to say, I'm not one to shop much for earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, ect. though I do love them when they are gifted to me! ;) haha
well when I was approached by JORD I wasn't quite sure if it were a fit for me. but then I took a look at what they had and I was very impressed by their watches! being on the simple side of accessories, I found one that just spoke to me and I love this watch! it's simple, yet unique so I can wear it with nearly any anything.
they have both men's + women's wood watches so the options are there for all.
what a great mother's day gift one of these watches would make! hint, hint: mother's day is just 17 days away!! ;)
I was very impressed with the presentation of the box my watch came in. that makes it all the better for gift giving. no wrapping necessary! :)

JORD has been so gracious to be giving one lucky winner $100 towards any watch of their choice!
and BONUS anyone who enters will receive $25 towards a watch. so that makes for us all to be winners here :)
**the contest: ends 5/14. so click the link and enter before then!!
 **giveaway $$$ (the winner's $100 code and the $25 for everyone who enters codes) will expire: 7/31.

being just a few days out from leaving, I would love to know anything else you think would be helpful to pack along! as far as travel tips go too cause we need all the help we can get! a five hour flight with a not even three year old and a 9 month old... ahhh please pray for us!!


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

our table || toddler meal ideas || re-play giveaway

first, I gotta say so far i've been pretty lucky with good eating children.
I know it's not that way for all you mamas. keep trying with those picky eaters and don't give up!
 boy can harper eat! and thankfully it hasn't ever been a real struggle to get her to do so. so far, (and I know this can change-though I don't foresee it happening!) tanner has been a pretty good eater too. I'm already seeing a glimpse into our future of feeding a growing boy and it sounds expensive!
both kids pretty much accept what we give them to eat at meal times. and quite honestly, if they don't like what they're given... well, I'm not one to run and fix something else :) 
ya kinda get what mom makes in this house.
tanner eats some of what we eat and then some simple, whole foods too. like fruit, bread, yogurt, ect. paired with what might be suitable from what the rest of us are eating.
harper 100% eats what brandon and I eat. it's busy enough making meals 3+ times a day, that I'm not about to fix her something separate. that's how it's always been, and that's what has worked for us :)

breakfast and dinner are pretty simple. but lunch can be one meal that I can run short on ideas. it's the meal of the day where we generally aren't all eating together and the only meal I'm making at the moment is for harper. (I've developed a bad habit for myself of just snacking though lunch. with the busyness of the kids and the day, I find it challenging to stop and get myself to stop and eat an actual meal. working on it!!)

***dietitian tip: in general (for all meals), I try to include fruit/veggie, protein, whole grains***

---breakfast items: eggs (scrambled, fried, boiled), whole wheat toast, fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, nut butter toast with strawberries
---dinner: too much variety to list here, but whatever is for dinner, that's what harper has.

so here are some toddler lunch ideas (that you could also carry into some breakfasts and dinners too) that I commonly feed harper!

--and how about these re-play plates! I loooveee them!--
1 //  grilled turkey + cheese sandwich made on whole wheat bread + watermelon

2 //  hard boiled egg + whole wheat crackers + strawberry & banana slices

3 //  ham + cheese sandwich made on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayo + apple slices

4 //  pb+j made with natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread with apple slices

5 //  veggie bites (I buy these at costco and harper loves them!! as does tanner) :) with whole wheat crackers + cucumber slices

chicken nuggets (made with breast meat) and annie's mac+cheese also make their way into the rotation :)

curious on any other things we might eat/feed our children-- just as me! I am more than willing to share!

I've been so happy with these re-play products! great quality, the dishes are deep enough to keep food on the plate rather than sliding over the edge ;), and there are so many fun colors!
Re-Play is graciously giving away a feeding set in any color to one lucky winner! just head over to my instagram (@brittneyhjelseth) to enter! giveaway runs thrusday, april 20th through thursday, april 27th. the winner will be announced by the following friday morning!

and BONUS in the meantime for all my readers/followers, use code: JustUsHjelseth2017 for 15% off of $20!!
I will most certainly be using my own coupon code for myself! :)
code expires 4.27.17

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tanner Ross || 9 months

N I N E.
and looking mighty fine ;)
this is a big one!! the morning I woke and realized he really is a nine month old now... the first real thought I had... it's really go time on birthday party planning!
for the last nine months I've literally had the thoughts about what we would be doing for this little guy's birthday party. but nothing serious (as far as theme) has stuck with me. ((until recently!! I've settled on the theme and am so excited for it!)) the added challenge and reason for having this on my mind from day one is largely due to the fact that his and Harper's birthdays are the SAME DAY
that makes for things to be double the sweet. double the joy. double the celebration.
birthdays for these two-- I've got my work cut out for me!
to thrown ONE party that suits both tanner's first and harper's third is going to be so fun, but no question it's gonna be a challenge and I certainly have lots to do until then.

anywho. here's our sweet tanner boy being all big at 9 months old!!
we love him so and his personality is just the best.
age: 9 months

9 months: 23 lbs 15 oz  --  30.2 inches

birth: 8lbs 2oz  --  21 inches
2 days: 7lbs 11oz
12 days: 9lbs 1oz
1 month: 12lbs 4oz  --  23 1/2 inches
2 months: 15lbs  --  24 inches
3 months: 17.4 lbs  --  (from the scale at home)
4 months: 18lbs 13oz  --  27 inches
5 months:  20.4 lbs  --  (from the scale at home)
6 months: 21lbs 2oz  --  28 inches
7 months: 22.8 lbs  --  (from the scale at home)
8 months: 23 lbs  --  (from the scale at home)

clothes: 12 month
diapers: size 4

Tanner name sign // Quincyjeanart
banner // hooray everyday
9 month things:
--more teeth!! #storyofhislife. numbers five & six came in this month. (3/20 &3/21)
--man can this boy giggle and give the belly laughs! it's the best and such a highlight in each day to hear that sweet + contagious sound! between harper and I we'll do anything we can during our days to get those laughs out of tanner!
--crawling everywhere. pulling to stand on everything. climbing stairs. he is on.the.MOVE.
--with crawling then came pulling to stand. so... down went the crib! brandon went ahead and lowered it all the way being that this boy is so tall and we'd likely have to be adjusting it down again in no time.
--balls! this little guy is such a boy! he loves to play with balls and is starting to throw them too. it's fun to see the differences between him and harper as a baby cause this is one thing that she never took a big liking to.
--here and there he's been giving loves and it's the absolute best. leaning his head in to mine and on occasion giving a big wide open mouth kiss. seriously the BEST and melts my heart.
--favorite foods: avocado, raspberries, whole wheat bread, string cheese, kiwi, yogurt
--sleep: hit or miss. sometimes one night wake up. sometimes three night wake ups. I believe teething and changes developmentally have a lot to do with it. naps though are so solid! he's pretty consistent with a 1-2 hour nap twice a day (around the hours of 9-11 & 2-4).

P H O T O  D U M P
love you baby boy!! and all the joy you bring to our family!!

7 months


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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

bedtime routine

first off. WHY in heavens names do children get alll their highest energy right before bed!??

brandon and I tackle all this together (he's the BEST). an awesome hubby and daddy who's so hands on.
with harper and tanner being in different stages, there are some parts of our bedtime routine where they're separated and some parts that overlap together.

times are 'ish' of course because babies and toddlers certainly don't follow the time on the clock ;)
we do baths every other night. so if it's bath night we try to get that tackled and done right after cleaning up from dinner. (we shoot for dinner around 5:30). depending on what our day is like we sometimes will try to swing putting harper in the shower with one of us, or I will try doing baths during the 'after nap-before dinner' time. just to get them out of the way!

it all begins to go down at... 
6:45pm -- wind down time. chocolate milk (carnation instant breakfast) + a show
*tanner plays/hangs out/reads with brandon or I during this
7:15pm -- upstairs for books. we let harper choose three books and as long as tanner is tolerating it, we try to do this all together (sometimes he's over it and we just need to continue on with getting him ready for bed and put down earlier)
then we go our separate ways. one of us takes harper and the other takes tanner.
7:30/7:45pm -- tanner: lavender essential oil in the diffuser. chamomile foot massage. zipadee zip. lullaby music on. nurse. paci. down to bed. 
7:30/7:45pm -- harper. potty. wash hands + face. brush teeth. then all the attempts to procrastinate with being hungry, thirsty, blah blah blah ;). as we get through that it's lullaby music on (both kiddos have monitors in their rooms that play music and we've been using it since harper was about 8 months old. she still likes it and asks for it, so we still use it). sing songs, hug + kiss goodnight, and we're out the door.  some nights it's as simple as that & then some nights she'll put up more resistance. want us to stay in longer, or gets out of bed a handful of times once we've left, or just try any procrastination she thinks might help her from having to go to bed ;) we try our best to be consistent and keep our "no" meaning "no".

we shoot for bed by 8pm. tanner is generally down by then no problem. but two and half year old harper... ;) sometimes we hit that. sometimes we don't get there until 9pm. big, deep breaths on those nights. and sometimes we're in between there ;)


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Thursday, April 6, 2017

harper's first trip to the dentist

Harper had her first trip to the dentist this morning and like anything with a two and a half year old, ya never know just how it'll go. the day before her appointment we really talked it up to her and got her all excited to go to the dentist. and I'm so thankful there's a bubble guppies episode on this!! when we walked in the office in the morning she was holding her hands together underneath her chin, with a huge smile, saying in the sweetest voice "I'm so excited". how cute it was!
it was such a big thing being in a whole new unfamiliar environment, with new people, and what could be intimidating equipment.
the office staff and dr. petrie were amazing!
brandon had his cleaning appointment before harper's so we brought her in a little early to see dad in the chair and she loved this. I was so happy that none of this scared her! like so so so happy! cause it all could've gone real bad and we could've walked out of the office before we got anywhere near this step.
once it was harper's turn she wanted me to get my teeth checked first (which I didn't have an appointment) :) so she sat on my lap in the chair. a bit of shyness and uncertainty was coming out. but with taking it slow and keeping it fun, the hygienist and dr. petrie were able to do a basic look, check, brush, and fluoride.
wish I had a picture of this, but brandon was full hands containing tanner at the same time :)
despite her little bits of hesitation (which I kinda expected), it was a great experience for us all.
on our drive home she kept saying how "the dentist was so fun!".
that's exactly what we were hoping to accomplish during the visit and I'm so proud of my baby girl!!


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