Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Amber Teething Necklace--Our Experience

Without a doubt, the thing I most often get asked about is Jaqs' teething necklace, so I've decided to share a little "review" with y'all today. I first found out about these things when doing research on how to ease teething pains when J was around 7-8 months old and cutting her first teeth. I was skeptical, but decided it wasn't going to hurt anything to try, and they're darn cute!
The theory behind them is that real, Baltic amber releases succinic acid which is supposed to provide a natural pain reliever and a natural anti-inflammatory effect which eases the pains of teething. They are to be worn around the clock to gain the best result.

{{this is the exact necklace we have--fast and free shipping!}}

So, the real question, does it work?
I honestly feel like it has provided some relief to Jaqs while she's teething. We absolutely still have cranky days here and there associated with cutting teeth, but overall, I think she takes teething better when wearing this necklace. Her teething nights most definitely improved once we got this necklace on her! I mean, she cut all 4 of her molars without so much as a restless night, and that is nothing short of a miracle!

Does she wear it even while sleeping?
Yes. For the longest time we would wrap it around her ankle at night, but she continued to nap during the day with it around her neck. We finally decided she was fine to sleep in it at night as well, and she has been.

Does she chew on it?
No, these necklaces are not meant to be put in the mouth. They are to be worn short enough in length around the neck that the baby/toddler wearing it cannot place it in their mouth.

What if it breaks?
These necklaces are designed so that if it breaks, all the beads will not bounce off and fly all  over for your baby to choke on. There is a knot in between each bead so that if it does break, only that one bead will fall off.

Which color am I supposed to get?
In my research, I found that the lighter in color the amber is, the more effective it will be. The most important thing to remember is that it has to be real, Baltic amber in order to work. There are plenty of knock-offs on the market, but they would be virtually ineffective without the succinic acid provided by Baltic amber.

So there ya have it, the skinny (according to a non-expert) on the Baltic Amber teething necklace! 
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
*I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this post. All opinions are my own.*

Monday, July 29, 2013

girl's day & a good-bye party

I don't know about y'all, but I had the BEST weekend! I'm kinda sad it's already over.

My dad was visited us part of the week last week, and of course, we loved it! We spent a lot of time at the little water park while he was here, and Jaqs even got to share a little ice cream with G-Pop. What are grandparents for, right? ;)
We had a cook-out with friends Friday night, and it was such a blast. All the kids ran around and played well together while the adults hung out & snuggled the newest baby in our crew. We had so much fun that we ended up being there until 10 p.m. which is like an ALL-NIGHT RAGER (or something) when you have toddlers. I have no idea how Jaqs played happily that late, but she did! Yay!
Jaqs & Tatum...these 2 will be besties! They have no choice!
On Saturday, I had an ALL-DAY girl's day with one of my best friends, Cassi. We had originally planned on going to float the river with some other girls, but our plans fell through, so we decided to have a day full of doing whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted! It was awesome.
We started our morning off at our favorite brunch place with another friend, then we moved on to pedicures. We decided to get real crazy after that and head down the road to Waco for some better shopping and Pei Wei. Of course, we're the wives of coaches, so we had to stock our kids up on some new football gear! Yes, I definitely dress my little girl in "boys" football gear...she rocks it and makes her daddy proud ;)
 We ended our epic girl's day by sneaking wine into the movie theatre to go with our mini Reese's and popcorn (which is the best combo ever, btw) like a couple of broke college kids. We saw The Heat and laughed the WHOLE movie. It was one of the most hilarious movies I've seen in a looong time. It is a little vulgar at times, but the Sandra Bullock + Melissa McCarthy combo is hard to beat! Definitely recommend. 
So thankful for one last "me" day before the grind of football season begins, and of course, our solo mom duties this week while the guys are away at coaching "school."

Yesterday I decided to hit the road to Abilene with my pea to see my Gram one last time before she heads back to Idaho this week. She's been staying with my parents since April, so we had a small "see ya later" party for her before she goes. I'm so glad that Jaqs has had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her Great-Grandma in the last few months...it's definitely very special to see them together, and I know my Gram has loved every minute.

Happy Monday, friends! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

15 & 16 month favorites!

15&16 month favorties

Little Tikes Basketball Set- Jaqs got this little basketball set for her birthday, and she's really into it now. We keep it on our back porch, and she begs to go out there to play!

Crayola Sidewalk Chalk- What kid doesn't love sidewalk chalk, right?! It's fun for the mommies, too ;)

Stella Doll- Jaqs has been obsessed with babies lately, both live & pretend. She has this little Stella doll, and she loves giving her her paci. Sweet little mama!

Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Stack & Roll Cups- My parents have this stacker toy at their house, and it keeps J entertained for quite a while. She likes for us to hide the ball under the cups so she can find it. This toy is great for teaching numbers & colors. It can also stack into a ball for easy storage.

Revolution Foods Organic Mashups- Little Miss is currently cutting all 4 canines, so packets are our saving grace in the moments of picky eating. I know it has to be painful for her, so we're rolling with it & hoping she goes back to her normal eating when those dang teeth cut through.

TFY iPad Headrest Mount Holder- My child is the world's worst about sleeping in the car, so we've gotten desperate about keeping her entertained on the trip home-home. I ordered this iPad mount on a whim, and it turned out to be great! There's nothing fancy about it, but it adjusts to any size headrest which is really all we needed since J is still rear-facing for now. The girl loves to watch Mickey Mouse on a road-trip ;)

Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube- This is another fabulous learning toy. Jaqs and I go over shapes, colors, and sorting almost every day. She has learned that ALL the shapes fit in the rectangle, and that works best for her. Ha!

Nuby Super Straw Easy Grip Cup- We traded in our beloved Playtex trainer cups for these. The Playtex cups leaked with cold liquids, so they weren't cutting it once we switched to cow's milk at a year. These Nuby cups don't leak at all...love them!!

Ikea Plates- I picked these little plates up at Ikea the last time we were there, and they are perfect for little diners. They're a great size, fun colors, and the best part? $2 for 6. Win!

Britax Marathon 70 Convertible Car Seat- Not pictured, but I've had several people asking recently what car seat we use now, and this is it! We've loved it from the start and have never had a problem with it. It has excellent safety ratings, and Jaqs will be in it for several years to come.

Your turn, are there any other products out there we *need* to know about for this age? :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five on Friday

Hello lovelies! Friday again? Woohoo! Everyone's favorite day of the week, right? It has been raining basically all week here, but the sun is shining today, and we're anxious to get back to our summer activities, otherwise known as: hangin' at the kiddie pool!
Anyhow, y'all know the Friday drill by now, right? Linking up with Darci, Natasha, April, and Christina for Five on Friday!

{one} Kohl's has a ton of kid's stuff on clearance right now, so I scored some play clothes for Jaqs for next Spring/Summer AND some new Converse for her because her daddy insisted she needed some closed-toe shoes. I got 3 shirts, 3 pants & this pair of shoes for less than $30! Hard to beat that; I *heart* Kohl's.

SIDE-NOTE: I'm selling pair of toddler girl's Natives if anyone is interested! Hollywood Pink, Size 4, NWOT, $15, shipped. Email me if you're interested?
{two} I've been gathering up some things to put the finishing touches on the girl's little play area in our living room, and I came across this print on Pinterest. I love it! Wonderful little reminder to keep things simple around our abode. Oh, and the colors are perfect, too ;) 
{three} We had Jaqsy baby's 15 month check-up yesterday, and she got a perfect report! I'm so thankful she's a healthy, growing, and busy girl. She did great at her appointment, but DESPISED being pinned down for shots. Poor angel. She was good within 30 seconds of being picked back up, though!
{four} Little Miss Momma posted this DIY baby onesie & gift bag this week, and I thought it was just adorable. How fun would it be to craft these at a baby shower? Incredibly simple, too! Cute + Simple = Winner.
{five} My brother-in-law, Will, has been out of the country since February and is finally back home! He's coming to spend the weekend with us, so I figured I'd make an all-American meal to welcome him this evening. Pot Roast immediately came to mind because it would keep me from heating up the house with the oven, plus men love beef & potatoes, am I right?! I've never had any specific recipe I use, so I've got The Pioneer Woman's cooking right now. Her recipe HAS to be a winner! I'll let y'all know how it turns out.
Head over to any of these fabulous ladies' blogs to join the Friday fun!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Punta Cana!

Now that it's been nearly a month since we went to Punta Cana, I'm finally blogging about it! Apparently I get overwhelmed with, and therefore, put off posting TONS of pictures. This is just a fraction of what I took, and I'm kind of bummed I didn't take my big camera because my point and shoot kind of sucks, honestly. Oh well, I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking anyway!

We went to Punta Cana with some of our very best buds, Jerrod and Julie! They live in Abilene, so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like, but we always have the best time together. We've been trying to do a couples trip for a few summers now, and we finally made it happen this year! It didn't disappoint, we had an absolute blast together!
day one: thrilled to finally be there!
of course we had to make coconut drinks happen!
julie paparazzi-ed us ;)
the boys were popular with some local kids, julie & i pigged out at the sports bar ;)
and paid for it the next day, unfortunately. gag!
livin' the beach bum life
jerrod & i always have to play "speed" when we're together! ha! #mature
my honey
obviously we should have been princesses
it's a rough life on vacation...you have to choose between the beach & the pool. #thestruggle
dinner at the hibachi on our last night
our trip BFF's...all of which were literally 3x our age & canadian :)
apparently rob was a longhorn fan 
As you can likely tell, we basically bummed around our whole trip! We laid on the beach, laid by the pool, read, napped, ate, drank, laughed, went to shows, and had TONS OF FUN together. We didn't do a single excursion or "extra" because we were all there with rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation on our agendas. Thanks so much for a great time, Carroll's! Cannot wait until the next bestie vacay!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Praise You In This Storm

It was pouring rain a few days ago, and Jaqs wanted out in it so bad, so we opened the back door and let her at it. She loved it, and the whole time I watched her play and dance in the rain, I kept hearing the song lyrics to "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns playing in my head.
taking it slow at first
This time of year is always difficult for me simply because I have to "let go" of my hubby for  several months after having tons of time together in the 6 weeks prior. In the last couple of  weeks leading up to coaching school, I feel the sadness start to creep in...I begin to feel a little empty and overwhelmed at "single" mom-ing it again. Then I start to feel guilty because I've got it so easy compared to military wives and single moms. After all, my hubby still ends his day beside me in bed, and I know he's safe.
this may be a new fav...if only it wasn't an iPhone pic!
 I guess we can't really help the way we truly feel though, can we? I know that I'm blessed, and I have to remember that in those moments when Jaqs is throwing her 15th fit of the day because I made her close the refrigerator door or asked her to stop running around with a toothbrush hanging out of her mouth (true stories). I know there are many women who would give everything to spend their days with their babies, and I know it because I've been there.
post rain dance snuggles & milkies
I have to keep in mind that I'm not the only one "missing" out. I know it can't be easy for Rob to be away from his family 90+ hours and 7 days out of the week no matter how much he loves his job, which he absolutely does. I also know that Jaqs would love nothing more than for all 3 of us to be together to play all day every day. I've got to keep in mind the gaps I must fill for each of them, too. It's what families do, right? They're there for each other for love, support, encouragement, and GRACE through whatever situations we may face. After all, this life I'm living is all I've ever dreamed of AND MORE.
first time wearing a tshirt, and I have to say, it's one of the cutest things I've seen!

"I lift my eyes unto the hills,
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
The Maker of Heaven & Earth

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are,
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn,
I will praise You in this storm."

*Let it be know that I definitely realize this "storm" is a mere sprinkle, but I try to keep it real here on my corner of the www as this is our family scrapbook. Thanks in advance for not rolling your eyes ;)*

Monday, July 15, 2013

weekend lovin'

Life has felt been kind of like one big weekend lately, and it's been AWESOME. Since our time is dwindling, we've been living it up while we have the chance! This weekend was a pretty sweet combination of busy but relaxing with lots of friend and family time mixed in.
If you follow me on the Insta, (@ktgalu) these pictures are mostly repeats...sorry!

Rob was with the Wildcats at the State 7 on 7 tourney all day Friday, so Jaqs and I spent the day just the 2 of us. We had contemplated going to the games, but I ultimately decided it was way too hot (102+) for her, plus they were about 40 miles down the road from us. We opted for Target fun isntead ;) We also went to dinner with our girlfriends that night!
When we got home from dinner, it was about 7:30, and I knew Rob wasn't too far from home, so I let Jaqs play outside so they'd get the chance to see each other. She wanted in her pool, so I stripped her down, and she went for a night swim! Girl was as happy as could be!
Rob & the guys had 7 on 7 again Saturday morning, so our friends came over for a "play-date," but I use that term loosely because J was napping for all but about 30 minutes of it, and Tatum is 2 weeks old, so yeah! Ha ;) Once the daddies got home that afternoon, we went to the water park with our bigger buddies, and all the kiddos (and parents) had a blast! No pictures to prove it, though.
 We had everyone over Saturday night for burgers, so these three plus Tatum (above) got to hang out all day long. We were cracking up at Jaqs & Tate sitting on the couch sharing chips. Those two are so funny together, and luckily we have Parker to keep them in line with their sharing and all those other things toddlers have trouble with!
 Sunday was pretty low key...we went out for lunch to our favorite mexican food place, but that was about the extent of productivity. It poured rain most of the day, so we were pretty lazy. I even took a little nap...BLISS!

Rob only has to work half days this week before he's back on the grind next week, so we'll be taking advantage of every last second of summer we can squeeze in. It has flown by entirely too fast, and I'm not ready to give it up quite yet. Let's not talk about it, actually.

Hope your week is off to a great start!
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