Category Archives: family

Holiday Gift Guide: The Little Ones

Holiday Gifts for Kids


Today’s gift guide is for those cute little peanuts in our lives! I tried to cram as many of the best holiday gifts for kids into this post. I could have done a whole week of posts for kids. There are such good toys and clothes for all ages.


Lawson and Sybil LOVE their chairs. It’s a great gift idea for ages 1 and up. I bought Sybil this jacket (it’s less than $15 and absolutely adorable) and dress to wear during the holidays with this shirt and navy knee high socks.


Don’t tell him but Lawson is getting these pajamassneakers, blocks and scooter for Christmas. Add a book and I’m finished shopping for him already!


I really wanted to get a kitchen set for them this year, but we don’t have enough space in our apartment and I figured it would get banged up when we move next year anyway. They love to “help” me in the kitchen and have loved playing in the kitchen at different children’s museums. If you have the room, this is a great gift for toddler boys or girls!


How cute is this little dyson vacuum for kids??? Such a cute idea for the little helpers in your life. By the way, this dyson cordless vacuum is my favorite household appliance. I’m not normally one to suggest giving household items as gifts, but this one is that good.


What’s on your little ones wish list this year?




pink jacket | sweatshirt | chair | sweater | game | luggage | blocks | sneakers | vacuum | brain quest | placemat book | rainboots | camera | scooter | dress | pajamas | kitchen | blue jacket



Books for the Littles
Little Luxuries
My Wish List
Natural Lifestyle




Holiday Gift Guide: Books for the Littles

gift guide for kids books


And just like that it’s November and time for holiday shopping. I’m excited to kick off my 2017 holiday gift guides today! I asked on Instagram Stories and you overwhelmingly wanted to see gift guides before Black Friday. Your wish is my command.


I’m not sure what it says about me that I am most excited about this gift guide for kids books. Maybe it’s the nerd in me or the fact I desperately want Lawson and Sybil to enjoy reading real books. Since we moved to LA, we’ve spent a lot of time at the bookstore. It’s become Lawson’s favorite place and one I’m happy to encourage. They play with toys, look at books and I scour the shelves for potential additions to their already impressive library.


As an aside, gift giving for kids can easily get out of hand. One rule we ask our families stick to is limiting Lawson and Sybil’s gifts to one book, one article of clothing and one toy. Between grandparents, aunts, uncles and us even these can add up. The grandmothers usually bend the rule a bit on clothing…as long as it fits into one box. :)


Some of these are favorites we already own (Shine, Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night, A Giraffe and a Half, Olivia) and others are books on their wish list. Most of these books are best for children 0-4 because that’s the stage of life we’re in, but others would be great for kids of all ages (The 50 States, Bedtime Stories for Rebel Girls, Masterchef Junior, She Persisted).


Masterchef Junior | La La La | be brave little one | shapes | Big Words for Little Geniuses | Not Quite Narwhal | Octicorn | Say Zoop! | The 50 States | Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls | She Persisted | The Earth Book | Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? | The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do | Olivia |  A Giraffe and a Half | Shine! | After the Fall | Ooko | Home Alone


You may also enjoy Top 10 Books for Babies. You can find all my gift guides here.




How to Survive a Baby with Reflux and Colic

infant reflux


While in the back of my mind I knew each child is different, I had no idea how different they could be. So when Sybil started screaming uncontrollably at she was 3 weeks old, I figured we just needed to find out how to soothe her. It turns out nothing we tried would help her. She literally cried for hours every night for 3 weeks. I began to dread early evening because I knew she would be starting soon. Dealing with infant reflux is exhausting for everyone involved.


When I say we tried everything, I mean we tried everything. Rocking, bouncing, walking, shushing, nursing, burping. The rock and play, swing, stroller, car seat. When I couldn’t take walking around the house with her anymore, we walked outside in the dark under the stars. I whispered to her over and over “I love you my sweet Sybil” as much to remind myself as to soothe her.


I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This period was one of the hardest I’ve experienced as a parent. I felt helpless that I couldn’t soothe my baby. I felt frustrated with her for crying. And then I felt guilty for being frustrated with her.


I once read that colic is really a form of reflux. I believe this to be true. Something is hurting your little one. In our case, Sybil’s stomach needed more time to mature. She had reflux and terrible gas pains. After nursing she’d have this gurgling in her throat and begin crying. Once she finally fell asleep (probably from exhaustion after crying so long), she’d sleep for a few hours and then start squirming and kicking. The only thing that felt better was sleeping on her stomach when someone was holding her. Yes, she slept in a pack and play, in our arms and on our bed. Everything you’re not supposed to do. It’s the only way we survived.


If you’re trying to figure out if your child has reflux, these are a few of the symptoms Sybil experienced:

  • Arching her back
  • Squirming/kicking her legs
  • Gurgling after nursing
  • Couldn’t be put down without screaming


If you found this post because you’re going through something similar with your little one, I’m sorry. I truly am. I wish I could give you a magic remedy. Instead I can offer the tips that helped us through this period.


5 Tips to Survive a Baby with Reflux and Colic

  1. Take a break – when Sybil was at her worst screaming for hours at a time, we literally traded off every 5-10 minutes. That little break was enough to shed some tears if needed, gather my thoughts and give it another try with my little girl. This was the #1 thing that saved my sanity.
  2. Get whatever help you can – your spouse, partner, family or friends. Listening to a baby scream for hours will drive you crazy. Accept help when offered and get the break you desperately need. Personally I was terrible at accepting help from others (other than Jim) and thought it was my responsibility to help my child.
  3. Seek alternative solutions – our pediatrician was quick to diagnose Sybil with colic and reflux. She recommending we put Sybil on Zantac for her reflux, which we did for four weeks. I wasn’t crazy about giving Sybil medication, especially so young, so we looked into other options. Also, Zantac typically becomes less effective after a few weeks. You may need to switch to another medication and/or a stronger concentration. I brought her to two different chiropractors and a naturopathic pediatrician. I cut out dairy, soy, gluten and caffeine. We gave her a probiotic, homeopathic gas drops. Not everything we tried worked, but at least I felt like we were doing something. For the record, I felt the homeopathic gas drops helped her the most.
  4. Accept that this too shall pass – it may not feel like it in the moment, but I promise your little one will grow out of this phase. I remember reading posts when Sybil was three weeks old about other mothers that had been through the same thing. I didn’t know how I’d make it another 3 weeks, let alone 3 or 6 months, but I did. And you will too.
  5. Know you will bond with your baby – having a baby with reflux/colic can make it difficult to bond. I experienced this and really beat myself up about it. I remember telling my mom that I didn’t know if I liked Sybil much less love her. Jim assured me over and over that I did love her and would bond with her in time. He was right. I wrote more about bonding with Sybil here.


On the plus side, now that Sybil is 14 months old she’s grown into an affectionate little girl. I think it’s at least partially due to all the hours we spent holding and trying to comfort her. Now she loves to snuggle with us and is the sweetest little thing.


If you have any questions or just want someone to listen while you vent, feel free to connect with me on Instagram or email me at I would love to help you in any way that I can!


You may also enjoy Sybil’s birth story and My Breastfeeding Journey: Part I.


A Letter to Lawson

A Letter to my Baby


Life goes so fast. One minute you have a newborn and the next he’s an on the go toddler. While every day has its share of frustrating moments, I love being Lawson (and Sybil’s) mama more than I ever dreamed possible. In honor of his half birthday on October 9th, here’s a letter to my baby.


Dear Lawson James,

How is it that my baby is already 2 1/2 years old?? It seems like yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time. You’ve grown so much. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of you and am in wonder of the little boy you’re becoming. Seeing you wear your backpack makes me want time to stand still. You’ll be off to school and new adventures before I am ready for it.


In the past 2 1/2 years, you’ve gone from our happy spitter that ruined outfit after outfit (for both of us) to a little boy that loves trucks, throwing, running and jumping. Bob the Builder has replaced Thomas the Train as your favorite show. You love PB&J, watermelon, eggs, cereal and anything chocolate.


After a slow start, you’re talking up a storm. You learned the letters of the alphabet (thank you PBS!) and practice any chance you get. Your favorite word changes every day. You repeat everything I say (no more swearing like a sailor for me!) and finish some of our favorite books.


One thing that remains mostly the same is our nightly routine. Dinner, play, bath, pajamas and reading books. Except now you want to read by yourself too. Putting you to bed is one of my favorite things in life. I rub your back or we hold hands and talk about our day. I tell you how much I love you and the reasons I’m proud to be your mama. There are many.


You’ve been a big brother for almost half your young life. While you don’t always show it, I know you love Sybil and will be her biggest protector and fan. She looks up to you and wants to do everything you do. Speaking from experience, she’ll be ready to fight back before you know be careful.


There are so many things about this stage that I want to imprint in my memory. When I’m old(er) and grey(er), I will look back at these moments and miss the baby you once were. These are the things…



The way you say no mama in the sweetest voice.

The way you say ice (“ith”).

The way you get the leftover yogurt from your face with a spoon.

The way you reach for and hold my hand when you’re going to bed.

The way you get so excited to hit the button in the elevator.

The way you pump your arms when you run.

The way you surprise me by learning a new word every day.

The way you protect your sister when I’m least expecting it.

The way you laugh at yourself when you think you’re really funny.

The way you love to push the red button to hang up when we’re FaceTiming.

The way you build towers and then knock them down (which is fun when you do it, but not so much when Sybil does).

The way you clap and cheer for yourself.




A Letter to my Baby A Letter to my Baby A Letter to my Baby A Letter to my Baby A Letter to my Baby A Letter to my Baby A Letter to my Baby


Happy half birthday to you Lawson James. I love you with all my heart.

Your proud mama


You may also enjoy: Lawson’s birth story and Lawson’s Year One.