December 11, 2017
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New Mom Gift Guide!

I love that more and more people we know are making their way into Babyland with us this year! Whether they are on their first baby like we are or are adding another number to their brood it’s been so joyful to celebrate new bundles and their Mamas lately. I was thinking that I feel way more confident now when buying a “Mom gift” than I would have last year (I would have felt so lost!) so I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of some of my top prezzies and make a new mom gift guide in case someone else needs a few ideas too…

1. Cute pajamas! As a new Mom I spent a lot of time in my pajamas that first few moths. Your clothes don’t fit right and you just want to hang around the house and try to survive! A pair of cute PJs can help a Mama feel a little more put together and that pink tie-die pair is right up my alley (although this pair would be great for the warmer months too). A button-up top means it’s also nursing friendly which is a big plus.
2. Baby photo book! This site is amazing because they can take photos right from your Instagram and send you a baby book without you having to lift a finger! You can even choose an option where it automatically makes a book out of every 60 photos you post so you can chronicle your family life automatically! Giant time saver.
3. Sweet sleeper! I always loved getting the “fun” options of things as presents. I could just have a plain sleeper, but why get a plain one when this one has sprinkles on it?!
4. Mini backpack (for diaper bag)! While I have a larger diaper bag that we use when we are heading out on a longer trek, I actually just use a mini backpack a lot of the time for short trips. It holds just the essentials but if I throw my wallet and a lipstick in there too it just becomes my purse and I only have one small bag to carry—YES!
5. Monthly Mom box! This company delivers a monthly box with natural and non-toxic items specifically curated for your month of pregnancy or age of your baby! How cool is that?!
6. Double birthstone ring! I got a thin gold band with a tiny diamond when Lola was born but this double birthstone ring is a great way to celebrate the Mama/Baby connection. My ring would have two emeralds for my May birthday baby!
7. Monthly photo blanket! With everything else that Moms do it can be a bit much to make a phrase photo board to commemorate each month (that’s what I do) so an equally cute but way easier solution is to use one of these month blankets instead!
8. Instax camera! I’ve had an Instax mini camera for several years now and I bring it out for just about every party we have—it’s so much fun! The Mini 9 comes in several fun colors and it’s super easy to use. I partnered with Fujifilm to gift one to a new Mom this month I gave the lime green one to my preggo sister at her shower so they can have fun documenting their new baby due soon. It’s the perfect item to have as people stop over to visit the baby since you can snap a pic and send them home with a momento of the sweet meeting. You can even do black and white film and colored frames as well!
9. Book club subscription! My baby registry was at least 50% books so this would have been perfect for me! They’ll have new books every month to look forward to and they can build their collection as baby grows.
10. Matching sweatshirts! I. Love. Matching!! These sweatshirts are so cute for Mom and Baby and since the smallest size is a 2T in the Baby sweatshirt this is a great gift for a belated present that you didn’t get a chance to get closer to their birth. I have stuff that Lola won’t fit into for another year, but I still have it hung in her closet because I’m excited for when it will fit! This is also a great matching set too for the pizza-lovin’ parent
11. Lavender bath salt soak! Moms need as much relaxing as possible!! I think the only self-care thing I could manage for the first 2 months was a long epsom salt bath every couple of days and they were so refreshing for me. This one has lavender so it should be extra relaxing for sure…
12. Baby name necklace! This is actually the only thing I want for Christmas as a new Mom. Lola is always on my mind, all I talk about, and I love every little thing that reminds me of her so a name necklace sounds perfect!
13. Compression high-waist leggings! Um, postpartum belly? Yeah, these types of leggings were all I wanted to wear for several months. High-waisted with a tummy control panel? Yes please!!

So there you go! Whether you are a new Mom that could use a Christmas or birthday hint idea or you have a gal pal about to pop, hope one of these is perfect for you!

xo. Laura

November 29, 2017
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Here Comes The Christmas Tree!

Just wanted to share a few pics of setting up the tree with Lola! It’s certainly more of an ordeal than usual to get out all the Christmas decor with a 6 month old that’s just about ready for bed, but she did like it when we turned on the tree and she spent a few moments staring at the lights and touching the branches before heading off to sleep. It looks like we are going to have our first Christmas here in Nashville this year so I’m trying to think of a few fun things for us to do as a family and add a new Gummerman Christmas tradition into our repertoire. I’ve got a few ideas but I’ll keep thinking on that one for a bit… I love her little face in this one. A bit blurry, but precious none the less.I’ve also got to get our Christmas card outfits together so we can send out for those soon. Usually we do a dressy thing, but this might be a fun year to do a cute PJ pic…I can’t decide between something cute and classic for Lola or something a bit more ridiculous. I bought an adult onesie pajama last year and it was surprisingly comfortable so I’ll definitely have to dig that out soon! We would always get new pajamas for Christmas growing up and I still love to wear a special pair on Christmas morning. Well, the tree is up! Now to actually decorate it and the rest of the house—we’ll see how many nights that takes!

xo. Laura

November 24, 2017
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My 6 Month Baby Essentials List!

I love talking about favorite Baby products with other Mamas (which is why I did a Newborn Essential List a few moths back) but I thought I’d do an updated list with of my favorite products now that we have passed the 6 month mark! Definitely have some new things added now that she’s getting older (SOB!) but this is what we are into most right now:

1. Since they don’t make the full-on versions of furry coats for a 6 month old (the smallest ones seem to start at 12 months) these puffy fleece coats are the next best thing to being able to match her to my fluffy coats! She has one just like this in grey that she wears a lot but I think she needs the pink one too now that I bought a furry pink coat this year…right??
2. Lola’s pediatrician recommended this Punkin Butt teething oil. The name is hilarious but she likes the taste of it (it makes her breath smell extra delicious too) so it’s easy to put on her gums. I just add a bit to my finger and rub in on the spots where she’s teething.
3. We have the swan version of this round play mat and we move it all around the house to give her a play spot near us. It’s great to use on the kitchen floor while cooking and I give her some measuring cups to bang on the floor to keep her busy (which she LOVES).
4. This Doona stroller/carseat combo has been a lifesaver for us as a traveling family. It made touring so much easier since we could keep it on the bus, take it in Ubers (and on the airplane as a car seat), and it pops in and out of stroller mode with the push of a button. It’s expensive but so worth it if you are a city dweller short on space that takes a lot of cabs or just do a lot of traveling.
5. We are just starting to see her try and roll a ball so this soft ball is great for some first games of “soccer” as Todd likes to pretend…
6. I actually have a couple of carriers and while my Ergo baby is my largest (doesn’t fold up as small as a ring style) it’s by far the most comfortable. She falls asleep in it so easily!
7. While we do have some warmer jackets (like that fluffy one above) Lola gets really hot in them if she’s wearing them in her carseat on longer rides so thinner jackets (with a blanket on top) are better if she won’t be outside for more than a few seconds. She has a black bomber but this gold one is AMAZING!
8. Lola loves bath time! I think she will definitely be one of those kids you can’t get out of the bath eventually but for now she loves splashing, kicking, and chewing on this natural rubber toy (she has a turtle by the same brand too).
9. It’s been so fun reading books to her while she rolls around on the floor with some toys nearby lately. We do have board books that she can be more rough with but since she wants to put everything in her mouth (and those books will start to dissolve if munched on) I think we need to get her some soft books like this that she can actually chew on for real while we read…
10. I bought her these gold high tops and they are SO CUTE! Super easy to get on her as well which is a big plus with shoes!
11. We’ve been doing headband with her for a few months but I just started to buy turbans too and she looks pretty precious in them as well. A lot of them are still too big for her head, but most of them have a main seam that you can easily take in and make them smaller. If you don’t cut the seam after you sew it, you can let it out later when their head gets bigger!
12. Since Lola wears cloth diapers (I like the BumGenuis the best) she has a bigger diaper booty than normal disposables would give her so I think she looks better when we pair regular shirts with her jeans/leggings rather than a onesie that tucks in and makes her diaper area look huge. It was really hard to find regular shirts small enough to fit her but I eventually found these organic cotton ones and they are great! A little room to grow but don’t look huge like the rest of them did.
13. It’s been a good idea to have some teething necklaces around for either me to wear when nursing (gives her something to hold while eating) or to just hand over like a toy. They are pretty easy for her to hold so that’s a plus too.
14. This Cuddle + Kind company not only make super cute dolls, but they give donate 10 meals to families in need each doll sold! I love that!! It’s so fun to see Lola actually looking at the faces of dolls and toys now and I love how her tiny hands caress their faces.
15. I’m kind of obsessed with with matching sets for her, it’s like cute pajamas that she can wear outside! Although Todd is always trying to take her out in her pajamas anyways so he doesn’t have to change her 😑
16. When we transitioned Lola out of her swaddle, I first tried zipping the arms off of her Love To Dream 50/50 swaddle but I think she liked this transitional Halo sleep sack better because there is a swaddle part that wraps around their body (under their arms) so it still has that tight swaddle feel even though their arms are out.
17. I looked at a million highchairs trying to find the right one and I eventually came across this Stokke one that’s not only pretty, but designed to be scooted right up to the table so baby can join in family meals with everyone else (which I love). You can also buy a tray if you want to use that for a little while which I did since we are doing Baby Led Weaning and it’s a pretty messy process so the tray helps. It’s a little weird though that you have to buy the high chair in several different parts, so that’s a little different. The legs and seat are sold separately from the baby set and there’s a cushion you can buy, but I skipped that since I like the plain white and it just seemed like one more thing to constantly wash. We also have a silicone food catcher bib which has been awesome so far—super helpful!
18. These silicone teethers/paci clips are so cute! I will say that my clips don’t stay on that well compared to the metal ones we have but a lot of the reviews talk about how well they stay on so maybe I just got a batch of weak clips? They are so cute that I still use them anyways.
19. Since it’s getting pretty cold out lately so I need to buy her a warm winter snowsuit/onesie and this metallic one is pretty awesome! Stylish and warm!

There you go! My favorite things 6 months into Motherhood! Let me know if there’s something that’s your favorite for this age (or for soon after!), I’d love to hear about it!

xo. Laura

November 16, 2017
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My House Featured in “Make Yourself At Home” Book!

You guys, my home is featured in a real home book! How cool is that?!? When Moorea Seal asked me if I wanted to lend my house to her Make Yourself At Home book, I leapt at the chance. Her website is so beautiful and curated and so I knew that her book would be amazing as well. She has lots of design and styling tips in the book as well as cute DIYs so you can add some personal touches to your space too. My home appears all over the book but mostly in the plant-focused chapter and I give all my tips on how I love to use plants (real and faux) to liven up a space. If you’re wanting some home-decor tips, DIY projects, or just like looking at pretty pictures of homes for inspiration, then this is perfect book for you or a great gift for someone else this holiday season!

xo. Laura

November 13, 2017
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So Much To Be Thankful For…

Sooo, we have had quite an crazy last few weeks! We were on our way up to visit Todd’s family in IL to have an early Thanksgiving and we hit a giant deer head-on and totalled our car on the dark highway. I actually had no idea what was happening as I was turned in the passenger seat and talking to Todd who was driving at the time, but I just heard giant thud as we crashed into something and I immediately started screaming as I ducked into Todd. I looked up briefly for a second and saw that the windshield was completely spiderweb cracked and all I could see out the front was crumpled white metal. I guess the hood crumpled up once we hit the deer and flew up into the windshield, cracking it on impact, but since I didn’t know about the deer yet I thought for a second that we had hit the side of another car and that they were somehow up on our hood and we had slid under them. Lola was sleeping in the back and the impact and sound startled her awake so that she was crying immediately while Todd was trying to steer us to the side of the road though the few inches of cracked windshield that the hood wasn’t covering. Once we pulled over and I could see the damage to the car but realized we were all ok, I just started weeping immediately out of thankfulness for God’s protection and I tried to calm Lola down as best I could from the front seat.

After a few minutes of trying to gather ourselves, we started the process of calling for a tow truck and our insurance to report the accident and find out what we needed to do. We were almost 2 hours away from home so there was nothing to do but wait out the tow truck arrival (about 1 1/2 hours later) and call around to find a friend who could come and take us back to our house. We didn’t want to take Lola out of her carseat since we were sitting on the side of a dark highway with trucks whizzing past us (in case someone hit us), so I sat in the back with her and sang songs as cheerfully as I could until help arrived. That was definitely my biggest lesson so far in feeling upset inside but trying to keep it together for the sake of your kid so they aren’t scared. Poor girl had to be in her car seat forever that night but she handled it so well! Once the tow truck arrived, he towed us to a nearby gas station and we grabbed everything out of our car (and I mean everything) since we knew it was probably totalled and we wouldn’t see the car again. It was such a weird feeling to be in the tow truck with all our stuff and to look back behind me and see my mangled, bloody car in the flashing yellow lights of the truck as we drove down the highway. So surreal. Thankfully our friend Darren was able to come and get us and take us home where I fell into bed as soon as I got Lola all situated. I definitely started crying as I kissed her goodnight and put her in her crib, trying not to dwell too much on the alternative scenario and what could have happened that night. I think Todd was up for a bit longer as he was still feeling rather rattled by being the driver and actually seeing the deer right before it happened. I think because he saw it a split second before it happened he had a quick moment to wonder, “Is this it??” before we actually hit the animal. It’s kind of funny because I definitely roll my eyes at Todd’s video game playing but he actually attributes his quick reflexes in dangerous scenarios to his life-long gamer habits…I guess video games are good for something!

The next morning we were on the phone again with insurance and getting rental cars set up, not sure what we were going to do about getting a new car (I was planning on just driving that one forever until it didn’t work anymore) and while I knew all of that was going to be a giant headache to figure out, but I was just so thankful for the scene that was before me that morning. Todd was playing his guitar, singing to Lola, and she was happy and carefree. That deer could have come through the windshield, the glass could have broken into us, a car could have hit us from behind when we hit the deer or as we tried to get off the road—but none of that happened and I was just so grateful.

We’ve been spending a ton of time this week car shopping and looking online and trying to figure out what to do next with that. My car wasn’t worth much and we had been planning on getting a better (and a little bigger) car now that we have a family but we’d also been trying to sell our super-cool-but-totally-impractical-for-a-baby 1974 Corvette Stingray so we could use that money for our next car. Unfortunately, the Stingray is still in our driveway so if any of you want to buy a vintage car, let me know! Taking a baby car shopping for hours at a time sounded kind of miserable, but she’s been such a trooper so far and she actually makes the experience more fun I think. Anyways, thanks to all of you guys for your kind words saying that you are glad we are ok! I definitely have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season…

xo. Laura