Baby essentials months 9-12

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Well I meant to publish this weeks ago then life happened. But here we are at 14 months and better late than never! I guess these products are technically our favorites from months 9-14 because we are currently using and loving all of these things still.

1 \\ The Britax Marathon ClickTight convertible car seat is what we transitioned Vivi into from her infant carrier and I have been SO happy with it. It is so easy to install and easy to switch from car to car.

2 \\ This walker was the perfect toy for when she wasn't quite walking on her own yet. It was perfect for hardwood floors and let her get around and explore but prevented her from opening every single cabinet... which she does now.

3 \\ I honestly felt silly buying these Converses for her but she has worn the heck out of them! She used to wear soft moccasins only but when she started walking she needed more support and protection for her little feet. These are so easy to put on!

4 \\ This bathtub mat has suction cups on the bottom and prevents her from slipping in the bath.

5 \\ I get a lot of questions about what sippy cups Vivi likes and this Dr. Brown's sippy cup is by far her favorite. And I love that there is a lid that attaches to keep it clean when she throws it on the ground 500 times.

6 \\ This bento box makes meals away from home so much easier. Pack it before I leave the house and have everything cut and ready when we sit down at a restaurant. And she loves all the options!

7 \\ This pop up tent and ball pit was by far her favorite birthday gift. She absolutely loves sitting in the tent and crawling through the tunnel. You can't beat that price for the hours of entertainment it will provide!

8 \\ The Infantino squeeze station makes it so easy to make your own pouches. I posted about pouch making here and have loved making all of Vivi's pouches.

9 \\ She loves her chuckle ball and it is such a cute and fun toy that encourages crawling and walking.

10 \\ These are our second favorite sippy cups.

11 \\ I absolutely love our UppaBaby Vista stroller but it is pretty large so this umbrella stroller is so nice to have for traveling, airports, restaurants, and stores where we will be squeezing through tight spaces.

What are your favorite products for this stage? I'm always looking for new things to try! You can check out our favorites for months 0-3 heremonths 3-6 here and months 6-9 here.


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Weekending late!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Per usual, I am posting our weekend recap late. Better late than never, right?! This past weekend was super productive and packed full.  Friday morning Vivi and I met some friends at fun gym and they had the best time playing.

After a long day at home I was craving alone time with my husband. As you know, Vivi has been struggling with some serious separation anxiety lately so I have been super hesitant to use babysitters that aren't family. However, desperate for a date night sans baby, I called a new sitter and you can imagine how happy it made me when she sent me this picture. Vivi hardly ever falls asleep on me anymore and she fell asleep on her new babysitter. Gosh it made my mama heart happy! And Garrett and I enjoyed cocktails, pizza, Krispy Kreme and adult conversation. Best night ever!

 My top: sold out (similar here)

 Saturday was Swingset Day. I mentioned that we bought a swingset kit and Garrett planned to put it together this weekend. He spoiled us with French toast then headed outside for the next 12 hours.

I am SO incredibly proud of him! He is so handy and hard working. He turned this pile of wood into a perfect swingset that we will enjoy for years to come. It took him all day Saturday and most of the day Sunday but it is finally complete! We just have to attach the swings and it will be good to do. So excited to cross this project off our to-do list.

 Saturday night my in-laws came over and we took a short swingset break to grill out and watch Vivi play in her water table.

Sunday we went to church and Vivi successfully lasted in the nursery for the entire service!!!! Huge success! She did have tears when we picked her up but they said she had just started crying a few minutes before. Baby steps!

 Sunday night we had family night at my mom's then it was to bed early in preparation for the week. Shew how is it already Wednesday?! Looking forward to the weekend!

National Infertility Awareness Week: Our Story

Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy Monday friend! Today's post is a little different than my usual weekend recap. Today marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week. April 22-28th is a week dedicated to bringing awareness to a topic that is under discussed and over prevalent. Today I am guest blogging over at Fertility Bridge and figured I'd share our story here as well. If you've been following my blog for a while, then you probably already know our story, as I documented our IVF journey back in 2016. If not, then keep reading and hopefully you will learn a little bit about what infertility really looks like.


We are 1 in 8. Did you know that one in every eight couples struggles to get pregnant or maintain a pregnancy? Our infertility story began when we were just dating when a doctor delivered the heartbreaking, unexpected news that it would be hard for us to get pregnant naturally in the future. At that point we knew we would one day get married and want babies so we decided to proceed with surgery, knowing that it may or may not help our chances. These are some scary decisions to make for your future when you are just dating. After surgery it was just a waiting game... we wouldn't know whether it was successful until we started trying to conceive. Fast forward about 4 years. We were married and it was (finally!) time to start trying to get pregnant.

This is where God stepped in, as He always does. I was in PA school and I chose to do one of my elective clinical rotations in infertility medicine. Ever since our infertility journey began it had become so intriguing to me both medically and personally. I told the reproductive endocrinologist I worked with all about our story and asked his personal opinion. He told me that we should go back to our previous doctor for more testing since we had not successfully gotten pregnant yet. So back to the doctor we went where more tests were done which showed that 1) the surgery had not worked and 2) they were concerned my husband may have a benign brain tumor that could also be affecting fertility. An MRI was done which did, in fact, show that he has a benign brain tumor also affecting fertility. With all of these factors, they told us our only option was IVF.

We were referred to UNC Fertility where we met our absolutely amazing doctor for a consultation and more testing and he agreed that IVF was our only option. That was a really low point in my life. I was overwhelmed, ashamed, heartbroken, scared and lonely. I decided that I could either keep it a secret from everyone or I could bravely share our story with the world which is what we decided to do. I am not a sharer by nature so this was a huge leap of faith for me. But I knew that if I stepped out of my comfort zone I could bring awareness to infertility and break the stigma behind it. I prayed that I could help at least one woman not feel so alone by sharing our journey. Since sharing my story, I have been contacted by 300+ women telling me they read my story and it provided them hope or just wanting to talk because they knew I could relate to what they were going through.

Now it was go time! From there we began shots in preparation for egg retrieval. Egg retrieval went amazing and we got 44 eggs, 28 of which became healthy, day 5 embryos. This was such amazing news and a huge relief. I then suffered from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) so our fresh embryo transfer was canceled while my body recovered. Six weeks later I was feeling great and ready to proceed with a frozen embryo transfer! We started medications again and on June 24, 2016 we transferred one grade 4AA embryo. It was the most amazing experience watching it on the screen and I will never forgot my doctor saying, "You should be cautiously optimistic!"

Five days later I did what any Type-A person would do and peed on a stick... there was no way I could wait 4 more days for a blood test. A faint line appeared immediately and I was in complete shock! The rest of my pregnancy flew by and at 37 weeks I delivered our perfect baby girl via urgent C-section after 50 hours of labor.]

Struggling with infertility was a huge blessing in disguise. While I would never wish it on my worst enemy, it taught me so much about myself and about life in general. The three things that infertility taught me are:

1) Never ask someone when they are going to have kids. You don't know what they may be going through. They could be going through IVF, IUI, just had a miscarriage, been trying for years unsuccessfully, you name it. Everyone's story is different and 1 in 8 people are struggling to get pregnant. Words can hurt so badly when you are in the midst of infertility heartbreak. Think before asking someone such personal information.

2) Ask how she is doing. If someone you know has shared that they are going through infertility, always say something. I was so hurt by the things that people didn't say when we were struggling. Some of the people I am closest to never said a word to me about it. I know they probably felt uncomfortable and at a loss for what to say, but I will never forget feeling so alone and forgotten by some of my closest friends. Even if you don't know what to say, a simple "I'm thinking about you and praying for you" goes such a long way.

3) Never take a single moment for granted. I am one of the lucky ones who got my miracle baby on this side of Heaven. Not everyone is that lucky and I will never take that for granted. Even the most boring, mundane days with her are the best days ever. At least once a day I think to myself, "I still remember the days I prayed for the things I have now". Infertility has made me so much more patient and grateful. Our battle with infertility wasn't easy but the fact that it resulted in our baby girl made it so worth it. I would take every injection, procedure, tears and heartache all over again to be her mommy.

If you have any questions about infertility or our IVF process I'm happy to talk! Shoot me an email @


Friday, April 20, 2018

[O N E]
Vivi got this water table and it was finally warm enough last weekend to play in it. She had a blast! She is a total water baby! And how cute is her strawberry outfit from Old Navy?!

[T W O]
I made this mug for my MIL for her recent birthday and I had to share because it turned out so cute. Who wouldn't want to drink their coffee out of a mug this cute?!

[T H R E E]
Vivi had her first experience with watermelon and she is a fan. I foresee lots of watermelon in our future this summer!

[F O U R]
My niece had her dance recital earlier this week and it was the cutest thing ever. We bribed Vivi with her very first cake pop in hopes that it would keep her entertained the whole time but she crushed it in 2 minutes then wanted to walk around. Better luck next time!

[F I V E]
We bought a dishwasher this week. When we moved in the new house we realized the dishwasher wasn't working. We reached out to the old owner and his response, "It worked perfectly for me"... sure it did. We had someone come look at it and the motor was broken so apparently it broke the night before we moved in #sarcasm. Anyways, we bit the bullet and spent a pretty penny on a new one and I will never hand wash silverware again.

Linking up with April and Christina

Help me choose!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Help! Some of our friends are getting married in a few weeks and I can't decide which dress to wear to their wedding. It is at the country club at the beach. I ordered 6 dresses to try and I need help deciding...

Option 1This Adelyn Rae Whitney lace sheath dress in blue. I am obsessed with the color and style. Con: it would need to be taken in a little in the waist and I'm not sure I want to pay for that...

Option 2: This Chelsea28 faux wrap dress in black. A simple, classic black dress and I like the uneven length at the bottom. Con: too plain?

Option 3: Long sleeve off the shoulder dress in green. From a local boutique. Con: off the shoulder dresses are annoying when you're trying to eat and dance, constantly having to tug to keep it from riding up your shoulders.

Option 4: This bellini rose drape dress. The print is fun and it's flattering. Con: not a dress that you would ever look twice at.

Option 5: This Botanica lace dress in black. Obsessed with this one. Feminine, sexy and classic. The longer knee length gives it the perfect mixture of conservative and flirty. Con: is black boring these days?

Option 6: This Bravo Zulu lace fit & flare dress in red blush. Love the color and lace detail. Con: I feel like a salsa dancer and the neckline makes me a little claustrophobic.

Cast your vote in the comments and help me decide!!


Grab the button below and link up to Annie , Natalie and Owen on your Thoughts for Thursday post.
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones , @eastcoastnat and @mrsordavis. Link up starts at 7 am EST.
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We had a great weekend at home! Even though we had no set plans, it ended up being super busy. Doesn't that always happen?! Friday night when Garrett got off work we headed to Mellow Mushroom for pizza and beer al fresco because it felt amazingggg outside. I just got Vivi this bento box and have already used the heck out of it. It makes going to restaurants so much easier because I can pack and cut everything up beforehand.

Saturday morning after nap time we met some of our friends at a local festival. We had the best time riding "rides", having ice cream, then we walked to lunch and had hamburgers and beers. Vivi's favorite thing was the huge slide that Garrett went down with her. She just squealed and kept signing "more".

 Her new "smile" face... dead!

 Saturday night I went to the hospital to visit my dear friend Brittany who just had a baby boy. Brittany is my sister's first cousin so I have known her forever then she battled infertility and eventually went through IVF at our same clinic with our same doctor. It's amazing how close you become with people going through similar situations as you. I prayed for this baby for years and I am so overjoyed that he is here!

 Sunday morning we went to church. Actually we drove to church then sat in the lobby the whole service because someone despises the church nursery and basically anyone that isn't mommy or daddy. Our church is pretty big and when you check your child in to the nursery they are assigned a number. Well every single Sunday Vivi's number flashes on the big screens in the church then the entire room watches me stand up and walk out... embarrassing! Right when I walked in the nursery she was immediately as happy as can be and started playing with all the toys. Any mamas been through this/have any advice? We can't even have babysitters right now because she absolutely freaks out.

 After the church fail we went and saw some baby chicks at a local store near our house. Vivi was in love and I tried to convince Garrett to let us take some home. He said only if I got 1,000 likes on Instagram, thinking that would never be possible. Surprise! Looks like we get baby chicks!! We are still negotiating and he says he doesn't think it would go well since we have a bird dog... 

 Sunday night we had family night at our house and seeing these three in the tub together is just the best. They all love each other so much!

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

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