Year in Review 2016

 Another year is in the books!  Before we turn the page to 2017, I want to look back on our 2016.  Mostly highlights but a few low lights, too, and one photo that summarizes each month of our year.  Enjoy!

We rang in 2016 with our neighbors and then celebrated my 33rd birthday at Top Golf with those same neighbors just a few shorts weeks later.

The highlight was definitely our neighborhood progressive dinner (aka my last hurrah...see March).  Low light?  Well, that would be Craig tearing his ACL while playing "old man" basketball.  Hence the crutches in the photo...

This was the month I learned about Baby Sides 3.0!  During my spring break week to be exact.  Which meant I had time to scheme something and surprise Craig when he got home from work.  And surprised he was!

Holden's turned two.  Craig also had ACL repair surgery...horrible for him, but also pretty horrible for me in my first trimester of pregnancy!  I'm certainly glad that's a thing of the past!

I finally got to announce my pregnancy to the world.  May was also the start of a fantastic summer at home with the boys!

In June, we learned Baby 3.0 would be yet another boy!  But first and foremost, we learned he was healthy after a terrifying scare with Down Syndrome.

Brantley turned 4, we celebrated our 6-year wedding anniversary, and we took a family trip to Chicago.  We had so much fun except for hand, foot, and mouth disease that decided to plague both of our boys while there.

Woo hoo, we got a minivan!  Technically, I think this was the end of July, but it's too big of a milestone not to be included!  Holden was also potty trained during August, which was a pretty big accomplishment.

September brought Brantley's first day of Pre-K - and I was excited to learn both of his teachers were from Iowa!

Lots of fall things in October, but the icing on the cake was trick or treating with the cutest pirate and his parrot!

What I thought would be baby month came and went without a baby (barely).  But we did get to enjoy our first-ever Thanksgiving at home, which I loved every minute of!

We completed our family by welcoming Mr. Rhett Kauffman into this world 11 minutes into the month of December.  Dare I say this was the best month of our entire year?

Wishing all of my friends and family and happy and healthy 2017!

5 Reasons To Get a DockATot

 While I was pregnant, I kept seeing many a mom rave about this new baby product called the DockATot.  If you're a new(ish) mother yourself, you're probably well-aware of this invention, but in case you've been living under a rock, the DockATot is a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting, and snuggling dock for babies from newborn to 36 months.  I was intrigued by this "baby bed" of sorts (reminded me of my Snoogle!) but thought the $165 price tag was a bit hefty.  Fast forward a few months and I'm in love with ours!  Here are five reasons you need a DockATot in your life!

1. The smaller, cozy environment mimics the mother's womb and helps the baby feel snug and comforted.  Visit DockATot's website and you'll see hundreds of reviews suggesting the DockATot is the reason behind countless sleeping babies!  I can't necessarily vouch for this, as we've somehow been blessed with yet another good sleeper of a babe--DockATot or not--but this is where Rhett spends most of his time (when not being held, of course) and I do think he finds a lot of comfort in the small, compact area of the DockATot. 

2. It is easily transportable.  Upstairs, downstairs, in a hotel, at Grandma's house...wherever you need it, the DockATot can be easily taken with you!  It's small, lightweight, and has handles for easy transport.  Much better than lugging a Pack 'n Play along and bonus, there's no set-up required!

3. It takes up minimal space.  Most of our baby products (Rock & Play, Pack & Play, swing, bouncer) seem to take over our house, but the DockATot sits nicely, out of the way, in a corner of our living room and doesn't require massive amounts of space.

4. It is all natural, 100% cotton, 100% breathable, hypoallergenic, and non-heat harboring, which means it creates the perfect micro climate for baby.  In addition, the DockATot has been safety tested above and beyond any other baby sleeping product on the market.  It is safe for co-sleeping (if that's your thing) and transitioning your little one from their crib to toddler/big kid bed!  It is also machine washable.  Within one week, our poor DockATot had been peed on multiple times.  What is it with newborns peeing out of their diapers?  Anyway, I was able to throw it in the washing machine and a few hours later, it was as good as new!  (Make sure you follow DockATot's care instructions when washing to avoid damage, shrinking, etc.)

5. It makes for cute photos!  Okay, perhaps not a real reason to buy one of these, but seriously, I can't stop taking pictures of Rhett and it seems many of the pictures are in the DockATot...mainly because that's where he hangs out for much of the day!

Make sure you check out DockATot's website for countless other benefits and if you are interested in purchasing a DockATot of your own, go here.

Disclosure: I was given a free DockATot in exchange for a blog post--but all opinions are my own.

Rhett's Newborn Photos

A newborn photo session has to be just about the worst kind of photo session.  Trying to get ready with a baby in your care, making sure said baby is fed at the right time, and worrying about the cooperation of older siblings...not to mention trying to find something to wear just days after giving birth! 😬  Add in trying to find a photographer who would come to us, not charge an arm and a leg, and give us the copyright to the images?  Not a fun task, my friends.  However, I really couldn't be happier with how these photos turned out.  We used a new-to-us photographer, Whitney of Maylyn Photography and having just started taking photos a couple of years ago, I am beyond impressed by her work!  She was as sweet as she was patient and I will definitely be using her again in the future!  And shocker - the older boys actually cooperated for once!! 

Now I get the insanely hard task of choosing a photo for birth announcements!  Wish me luck, friends, and seriously if you're in the KC area and looking for a photographer, do yourself a favor and give Whitney a try!