Playtex Straw Sippy Cup – Old vs. New

Sophia learned how to use a straw from a young age. She started with the normal spout sippy cups, but was more interested in using a straw. So, I got a couple straw cups, and the rest is history.

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(There are 4-5 more of these in the dishwasher)

Until they updated one of her favorites.

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Now I needed to give these a whirl, obviously, given my baby gear/item obsession. The two-pack I bought were on sale for $7, which is reasonable. When the cups are $9+ that’s when I look elsewhere, like Amazon or Marshalls. When I got them home, I realized we have one of the cups already, but in the older version. Same pattern, colors, everything. Just, newer.

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(Old – left / new – right)

A few immediate differences in the cup come from what you see before you even buy them in the store. It’s about the same height as the old cup, but skinnier. It’s also lighter, but almost looks more cheaply made? I guess we’ll see over time. The straw is longer, which is ideal since Sophia can never efficiently get every bit of water out of her cups. The sliding mechanism to close the straw is a bit different. Also, the straws are slightly different, as are how they connect inside the lids, shown below.

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(new straw – left / old straw – right)

So far, one main con I can see is how lightweight the cups are. Yes, it’s ideal, but not for a toddler. If you have a toddler, you know that they knock over everything. Most of her sippy cups get knocked over during meal time, but she barely tapped this one and it flew off her tray. Luckily, these cups are leak-proof (so far) and haven’t spilled a drop.

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(Old – left / new – right)

A major pro for me is the way the cup locks. HALLELUJAH THEY GOT THIS RIGHT. It (finally) doesn’t take excessive force and water exploding out of the straw to screw closed the lid. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me. So, in rebuttal to the old cup having a “leak proof” claim, it doesn’t leak when used, but totally leaks when you’re putting it together.

It’s still early in the testing process for us. I’ve hand washed them and they’ve washed well, but let’s be honest, these cups go right in the dishwasher. We use a little cage that came with our dishwasher for the straw parts, and we always use the sanitize setting on our dishwasher.

What’s your child’s favorite sippy cup? I’d love to go get 12 more to try ;)

Motherhood is Hard

Actually, it’s way harder than I thought it would be. Who knew?

Sophia has probably been the easiest baby and toddler on the planet. She’s pretty adaptable, and almost always well behaved. She’s pretty shy in certain situations, and is very clingy when she’s around strangers. I will never be mad at my daughter for not wanting to say hi to someone she doesn’t know. Isn’t that how kids get abducted nowadays?

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We attempted a one-day trip to Brooklyn over the weekend, and slightly failed. Usually our trips up north are an overnight-stay type of trip. We’ve never subjected her to more than 2 1/2 hours in the car at a time, except that one time it took us 4+ hours to get home from NJ and she was nursing newborn and slightly starving. For this trip, we were in the car at 10am and didn’t get to our destination until almost 2pm.

Needless to say, Sophia was not a fan.

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Screaming, kicking, dirty looks, and throwing of toys, food and drinks occurred. I wanted to turn around and go home. I feel like no trip is worth her unhappiness. (Also, I’m against drugging her with Benadryl, like many other moms recommended to me. It just doesn’t sit right with me.) Regardless, she was better once we got there, and even better once she had an entire plate of eggplant parmesan, ziti, penne vodka, lemon chicken, and salad in her belly. But now, it was 4pm. This little girl didn’t have a nap at all, besides a cat nap from screaming herself to sleep in the car.

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Sophia and I are the exact same person when it comes to tiredness and hunger. We get extremely angry, bratty, and unreasonable. Ask my husband, we are not fun to deal with. So that is totally me I see in her when she hits that brick wall of tiredness. In all of her almost year and a half in this world, I’ve never seen this girl throw a tantrum of this magnitude, in public no less. Let’s just say she’s got this whole toddler thing backwards. She’ll throw a tantrum at home, but in public? She’s an angel. It’s the weirdest thing ever, and I’m not sure how to deal with it sometimes.

That one day, that single day-trip, made me absolutely think twice about having another baby.

Over three hours later, we arrived home. [Insert completely happy child here]. Nothing but smiles and giggles on her end, and nothing but Tylenol PM and a bed on our end. It’s Monday and I’m still exhausted trying to remember the details from the day. Not to mention, Jason didn’t get home until 11:30pm Friday night, so we didn’t get off on the right foot to begin with.

That was a tough day. I’ll admit that. Sophia has been extremely tough to deal with these past few days, and I’m finding myself not being the calm, collected person that I usually am with her. I’m getting angry, shouting at her, and then I realize she doesn’t understand. I realize that her being upset is the only way to tell me what’s wrong. Me yelling at her doesn’t make anything better, and it makes me feel like a horrible mom. But this right here? This made me feel like I’m doing something right.

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It’s Simple

I remember when emptying the dishwasher took less than two minutes, and no one stole the spoons and hid them in their toy bins. When moving laundry from the washer to the dryer didn’t involve another person taking it back out of the dryer, and running down the hallway with it. The thought of going upstairs or into another room without strategically planning my moves so that no one cried. Those days when nothing had child locks on it, and I could open a cabinet door with just the slightest pull. Running to Target took 10 minutes, not an hour, and the only things in my hand were my wallet, keys and phone. I didn’t stress. I didn’t worry.  

I remember all of these things.

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But I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

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I love being a mom.

Our Everyday Routine

Routine is necessary during the week in our house when it’s just Sophia and I. Every now and then, she’ll sleep in the morning until 9:30 and throw the whole routine out of whack, but for the most part, she stays pretty on track. (Ha! I rhymed!) This routine helps ensure that both Sophia and I have a good day, and most importantly, that she stays happy. I’m a stay at home mom, so she doesn’t get the interaction that a toddler in daycare would get. We try to have 2 play dates per week, and then I try and leave the house at some point every day to either run errands or take her for a drive. She inherited my extreme cabin fever – I need to leave the house every day or I start to go a little crazy.

As for our routine, here it is!

  • We start our day anywhere between 7:30 – 8:30am (sometimes 9:30 when Sophia is feeling generous!) But usually around 8am is wakeup time.
  • Come downstairs.
  • Mommy gets coffee, Sophia gets milk, obviously.

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  • Play time for Sophia is usually from 8:30-9:30, and then she walks me to the kitchen, asks me to open the refrigerator door, and points to the eggs.
  • 9:30ish is breakfast which lately has been scrambled eggs + fruit.

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  • During her breakfast, I usually wash any dishes, load the dishwasher, and put a load of laundry in the washer.
  • 10-11am is more play time, but most importantly, Sofia the First is on.

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  • Around 11am, she wants more milk. So while she has milk, I take that time to go upstairs and get myself ready for the day. Most days, it takes about 15 minutes. I’m extremely grateful at how well she plays on her own. It definitely makes getting things done during the day much more manageable.
  • If we have errands to run, we’re usually out of the house by 11:30.  She understands when I ask her to get her shoes, and she sits on my lap. If I say we’re going out, she waves to the inside of the house and stands by the door.

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  • So usually 11:30-1:30ish is our “out of the house” time. I schedule all of our appointments, play dates and errands during this time slot. We usually come back before 1pm though, so we can have lunch at home, unless we eat lunch out on the rare occasion.
  • Anytime between 1-2pm, Sophia goes down for her 2 hour nap.

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  • FREEEEEEEEEDOMMMMM!!!!
  • Depending on the time she goes down, I usually have complete silence in the house until 3:30-4:30pm. It’s amazing.
  • Between 5-5:30pm, we have dinner. That can consist of anything, really. She pretty much eats anything. But as for order, we start with some sort of meat, and then head into veggies and then fruit to finish it off.
  • Jason gets home around 6pm usually, so Sophia has an extreme play/cuddle/tackle time session with daddy. 

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(She even needs to sit with him while he does homework, she’s a total daddy’s girl)

  • On the days that he has college classes at night, I take Sophia outside for a walk. Her favorite as of lately is to walk by herself, but when mommy needs exercise,  I put her in the jogger and we go for a run. Any amount of outside time makes her exhausted, win!

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  • 7pm rolls around and it’s time to get ready for bed. Some nights include a bath beforehand, but most nights, just pajamas and milk and I put her upstairs. This girl loves her crib. Once she’s in, she stands up and waves goodnight to me and shouts something along the lines of “see ya, love you” and she’s down for the count.

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(Drinking her milk, boss style)

And that’s our normal routine! When Jason is home on the weekends, it’s obviously a bit more loose because I have help.

What’s your every day routine?

“Just in Case”

When you have a newborn, and as a first time mom, you tend to pack everything and the kitchen sink in your diaper bag. But as they get older, usually around their first birthday, you tend to realize you don’t really need to carry all of that around. I did a diaper bag clean out, and removed everything I hadn’t used since the last time I loaded up the bag. Then I thought to myself – I could cut down carrying around even more stuff if I made a “just in case” bag, and kept it in the car. Bingo!

So I grabbed my Thirty One Zipper Pouch (mine is in the Lotsa Dots print) and started thinking of what I could put in there that would save me space in the diaper bag.

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The contents of this bag are:

  • 3 diapers
  • Wipes
  • A full outfit + socks
  • Aquaphor + Dr Smith’s sample size diaper cream
  • Dirty diaper disposable sack
  • Storage-size Ziploc bag for dirty clothes

 

The main thing that cleared a ton of space from the diaper bag was the clothes. Now I don’t have a 2 onesies, pants and socks taking up space. This works great for us because if there is anything that explosive that needs a new change of outfit, I wouldn’t be doing it in a JCPenney’s bathroom, we’d go back to the car. Also, since I don’t drive stick-shift, I’ll always have our truck, so not having the ‘just in case’ bag isn’t an issue. When my family was in town, I’d just move it to their car, along with her car seat (obviously) so they had it ‘just in case’.

**Along with this bag, I always keep two full size black towels and a hand towel (black to match the car interior) for help as well.**

Having this ‘just in case’ bag also let me switch to a smaller diaper bag. Right now we’re using a Coach messenger bag, previously I’ve used a Vera Bradley microfiber black diaper bag, and the Skip Hop Grand Central. Both of those now have more space than we need, so I went back to the Coach bag. Jason definitely prefers this diaper bag out of all of the ones we have, probably because it’s more manly, but it can also be worn cross body so you’re hands-free.

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And it helps that it’s red and black, his two favorite colors :) So that my friends is the ‘just in case’ bag, and a little on our diaper bag history.

 

What diaper bag do you carry? Is it too big/small? Perfect? Let me know!

Home Decor: Main Level

We’ve been working with the furniture we’ve had for 5 years now. I cannot tell a lie – it felt so good to get new furniture. Nothing has been sold, thrown out or donated. We’re keeping all of our old stuff, just repurposing it. I love making our additional bedrooms and living spaces more homey by adding some extra pieces of furniture. So here we go!

Our first dining room table was bar height. Perfect for us, but it’s truly taken a beating over the years. We decided to go with something bigger, something that could accommodate let’s say, Christmas dinner perhaps? And of course, normal height.

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This seemed to fit the bill. We’re picking up another white chair for where Sophia’s high chair is, but overall I’m in love. It expands to fit 8-10 people. Best part? Seat covers come off and are machine washable. Stop the madness. Yes, you can have white furniture accents and a toddler. Win.

 

We didn’t have a dedicated space for our shoes before, just your typical carpet runner to pile them on. Our jackets went in the front room closet, hats on an over-the-door rack, and that was it. Now? We have plenty of room for shoes, bags, guests’ jackets, all of Sophia’s shoes, scarves, gloves, and even reusable shopping bags.

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It’s perfect. It’s functional. It works amazingly. Just, love.

(Don’t mind the dimly lit picture – my SD card isn’t cooperating so I had to take pictures at night to fill this post up)

 

Last new piece of furniture (thus far) is our entertainment center. It’s also taken a beating, with this last move being the worst. The support leg in the middle of the stand broke off, and now it was bowing. Not good. Also, Sophia loves to throw things under the TV stand and yell, “Uh oh!” then looks at you like, “Get over here and get this before I throw something else under there”. At least she says thank you after I get it for her, but that’s besides the point.

Top on our list was a TV stand that was completely flat on the floor. No dealing with toys underneath, or bowing issues down the road. Storage for sure, ideally with a couple drawers. So, we agreed on this bad boy.

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(Again, ignore the crappy photo, I’ll update it when my SD card cooperates)

Also, ignore the abacus. Sophia grabs it and we practice counting every day! She gets the most excited when we get to number seven.

So this is actually two separate stands, that we built to make it appear as one. Its sleek, it’s modern, it’s been child-proofed, and it works so well for us. It’s also a bit higher than our old one so it prevents the little miss from putting her fingerprints all over the screen.

So that’s it so far! We still have some more main floor updating to do, and of course other floors as well, but that’ll be done in time.

 

What’s your favorite room to decorate?

Keep The Babies Safe.

I hash tag this phrase quite frequently. Ever since becoming a mom, I’ve been pretty obsessed with safety, whether it be childproofing your home or correctly installing a car seat. My thought is, you made this perfect baby, so wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to protect them? The amount of incorrect installation of car seats and incorrect buckling of children in car seats astounds me. Sometimes I get into thinking that it’s ignorance, but it always leads back to one word – knowledge. I just think that a lot of people just don’t know how to properly install a car seat. I feel like it’s becoming more and more clear to me about what I’d like to do.

My goal this year is to register to become a certified CPST, which is Child Passenger Safety Technician.

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(top – Britax Roundabout 55 ; bottom – Britax Marathon 70 G3)

 

I’d say the worst things that I’ve seen are during the winter months. That’s when the JJ Cole BundleMe covers come out to play, along with the fluffy strap covers, and those damn snowsuits.

Did you know all of these are unsafe for car seat use? If your car seat didn’t come with an insert or strap covers, it’s not crash-tested with your car seat. In fact, it actually voids the warranty of your car seat in the event of a crash. Also, your child wearing a snowsuit ensures that there isn’t a tight fit for the harness, and in the event of a crash, they’ll slide right out of the harness and through the window. Look it up. It’s happened.

Did you know that to get the tightest install possible, you should be sitting on the car seat base, or in the car seat itself while latching it? Yes, that means you. YOU climb into your CHILD’S car seat or on the car seat base of infant seats, and put a solid amount of weight on it to get the tightest install. Your child’s car seat shouldn’t move an inch when you’re done. Bottom line: If your child’s car seat moves when you put them in the car, you’re doing it wrong.

Did you know that the chest clip isn’t a stomach accessory? No, really. They actually put the chest clip there to protect your child in the event of a crash. So, if it’s not at arm pit height, it does absolutely nothing to protect them. “The chest clip is a pre-crash positioning device, meaning it does its most important duty before a vehicle crash occurs. The clip, when used properly, keeps the car seat harness in the right place against the child’s shoulders, so that crash forces are distributed over the strongest parts of the child’s upper body.” Also, tighten those harnesses every time you buckle your baby in! If they can lean over and sleep on the side of the seat, it’s not tight.

Did you know that rear-facing until age 2 is becoming the minimum age in some states? That should say something right there. Also, as many parents get confused, most states have the same law: Forward face when child is one year old AND 20lbs. Not one or the other.

I would absolutely love to teach parents how to install their car seats safely, and teach them proper buckling. I had a friend who had recently offered to re-install a friend’s car seat because it wasn’t installed properly, and that week, her friend’s car was T-boned. Emergency crews on site said, “Thank goodness that car seat was installed correctly.” She literally saved that little girl’s life. If I could correctly install car seats, promote proper buckling and save just one life, that would be enough for me.

Who’s with me?