These Blank Walls

The Family

Posts related to family life, parenting, etc.

Our Newborn Roommate

Last week I had mentioned that we would be moving my daughter out of the bassinet in our room and into her room. She’s still in our room. Our son wasn’t in our room when he was a newborn,not even one night, so I am surprised that I would have kept her here for so long. The truth is, I’ve been putting it off.

Hanging out in her crib during nap time.

We decided that, short of a miracle (or failed tubal ligation and soon vasectomy) our daughter will be our last one. While we both know that is the best for our family and are at peace with the decision, it’s a bittersweet realization.

Taking a snooze in the swing.

This is the last tiny baby that I will rock in the glider. The last of the firsts (rolling over, sitting up, walking) that we will experience. So for now she has stayed in our bedroom (she naps in the nursery, so that has to count for something). She’ll sleep anywhere and she hasn’t been eating at night quite as much, so it’s truly not out of necessity, but out of my wanting to hold on to her being a tiny newborn for just a little longer.

Knocked out on the couch.

And you know what? I’m okay with that.

Toddler Hacks – Bath Time

Bath time toddler hacks

My oldest will be 2 ½ in June. While he has definitely embraced the “terrible twos”, I still find him to be so much fun. Every stage he has been in so far has somehow been my favorite. I have found this age to be so rewarding, while so frustrating at the same time. I feel like the two’s have required me to step up my parenting game. Sometimes it’s so tempting to want to just “make” him follow my orders. But as I have gotten to know him better as well as learned from past mistakes, I have realized that often trying to act as a drill sergeant leaves us both frustrated. Instead, I have been learning to work with my son and to use his personality and strengths to raise him to be obedient, kind and respectful.

The bath tub was a point of contention for a while. He hates baths. When he was younger he enjoyed them (but we would dread them because he would poop in them), but then it was like something switched and he HATED them. True to my nature, I initially tried to just force him to take them (“you’re going to enjoy this whether you like it or not!”), but they just ended in tears.

It went a little like this: Myself or my husband puts him into the tub, he screams, we tell him to sit, he refuses, we wash him off, he screams more, we’re about to get him out, he sits down and plays and cries that it’s time to get out. He doesn’t need to love the bath, but something needed to change so that we would all leave the toddler years somewhat sane and him clean.

We have slowly started to figure out the tricks that work for us. I’m sharing this because I know (hope?) that I’m not the only one that struggles with bath time and hope this might help to ease some of the stress.

Toddler hacks: Bath Time

This is a list of the items that I have found helpful at one point or another during my bath time journey.

Swim diapers – Like I mentioned above, for a long while, my son was a bath time pooper. If possible, we would put him in the bath right after he went, but even then we knew it wasn’t necessarily safe. So we started using swim diapers and it made things SO much better. We didn’t need to dread the bath (and the clean-up). We preferred the Pampers Splashers because of how it fit his body, but the Huggies version was good too.

Moluk Plui – This cool little ball was a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. I think it’s intended as a toy for the child to watch the water drip, but I used it as a shower ball. I would this in the bath water and then use it as a little shower over my son’s head to wash his/her hair. While our son didn’t love it, it still helped to make things go a little smoother, as we were able to wash his hair with minimal drip on his eyes. Be aware that it’s being washed/dried well enough, because I feel that it could easily grow mold.


shower visorThis tub visor – I found this cool visor on Amazon. I think there are other more sturdy versions, but I got this one to just try out. I figured even if it was a flop, it was only a couple of dollars. This has been a life saver. This amazingly goofy looking visor goes on the child’s head and you can wash the hair and pour water without it running all over the face. I can’t effectively get my son to look up while I pour water, so this is helpful. He loved the visor at first, but now dreads me putting it on him, as he knows that means I’ll be washing his hair. However, once one, it doesn’t both him that I wash his hair, since the water doesn’t go onto his face.


 Fingerpaint soap– These cool soaps were sold individually for only $1 at Target (I couldn’t find them online, but found them on Walmart’s website for $1.42). I have them in blue, Yellow and Red.  My initial excitement about them were that they were going to help him to get interested in baths, and it has. I found, however, that the really cool thing about the paint is that it’s able to help him out to clean himself. I smear blobs of color on him in different areas that he would clean and then help encourage him to clean it off. Saying things such as “scrub your elbow”, helps him with body part identification as well as practice scrubbing in the bathtub.

What tricks do you have that help make bath time go smoothly? Did I miss anything that has been super helpful for you?

Letter To My Youngest

I can’t believe that our daughter is 5 weeks today. I’m not surprised that time is flying so much, but it’s so hard to wrap your head around. The past few weeks have been exhausting, frustrating at times, confusing, and so amazing beyond words. I know that I’m only a few weeks in, but being the mom of two, while a whole new world, feels so perfect. We know that we’re done now, so there’s a surreal feeling of completeness. I was always afraid that when we decided we’d be done, that I’d have doubts or feel guilt, but I am so at peace. Our family has been completed.

I wanted to take a moment to share some words with her. I’m still getting to know her, but I already love who she is and who she is going to become.


Dear Littlest One,

Today marks 5 weeks since you joined our family. Five weeks ago yesterday I was excited and nervous. I couldn’t wait to meet you, to see what you look like, to hear your cry, to get to know you. At that same time, I was nervous about how our family would change, how you would fit into it, how being a mother to a daughter will be different from having a son. Five weeks ago today, all of my worries melted away as I met the most precious little girl I ever laid my eyes on. The moment I heard your cry I knew that life would never be the same. God made you to be a part of our family. I was worried how you would fit into our family, and now I see that you already had a spot.

You were already embedded in the blueprint of our family. When you came home, we didn’t skip a beat. Yes, we had to adjust to what it meant to have a newborn again, but it was as if you were always here.

I am amazed by what a tender baby you seem to be, but already know what you want. I love when I see you exert what you want; life is worth the fight. Only time will tell whether or not these characteristics are part of your personality.

I know that you won’t always be happy with us. You and your brother might fight. We will make decisions that you don’t like. We might butt heads. But know that you are loved beyond measure. You will never be alone. Know that we’re always on your side, even when we may disagree with things you say or do. Know that we are trying to do right and do the best we can. You are so loved. I hope you feel that love.

I always say that your brother was the one that made me a mother, well, you are the one who made our family complete.  Thank you for that. I can’t wait to get to know you more.

Love you always and forever,



Read my other letters:

Diaper Changing Caddy

Though our house is small, sometimes it’s nice to be able to be lazy and not have to walk across the house or up/down stairs to go items for diaper change. I’ve seen some cute baskets for keeping diapers in different rooms, and I decided that, rather than making diaper changing baskets for given rooms, I wanted to make up a bag that had all the needed items so that when I moved to a new room, I would just take it with me. This has worked very well for us thus far and I really like the ease of having all the items together and not having to walk to the nursery to get a diaper or wipes.

Diaper Change Caddy to transport from room to room.

I received this awesome Thirty One bag from my sister as part of a Christmas Gift. I love it for this because it has a bunch of compartments as well as center area which is perfect for diapers and wipes.


Diaper caddy items. Put the necessary items for diaper changes in a tote so you can be ready for diaper changes anywhere n the house.

  1. Diapers for my daughter (shown here are Honest Company. I have since switched back to Pamper Swaddlers for the time being, because the fit seems better on her and seem more flexible since I need to fold the size 1’s a little since because they’re big on her).
  2. Diapers for my son (he currently uses Luv).
  3. Nasal Aspirator. Hard to see in this picture. I use the Safety 1st Clear Tip nasal aspirator. It’s also able to pop open for easy cleaning.
  4. Pacifiers. She goes back and forth between Mam and Soothies, so I keep them both in the bag.
  5. Wipes. Shown here are Kirkland brand from Costco. I don’t have brand loyalty with wipes, but I usually use Kirkland or Huggies. If you don’t have a Costco membership, you can now get a lot of Kirkland products (including these wipes) on Amazon, but it’s a few dollars more expensive.
  6. Diaper cream. Shown here is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. I also keep A&D and Desitin in her nursery.
  7. Babyganics Stain Eraser. I love Babyganics products! I bought a 3-pack of this stain stick and keep one in this bag, one in the diaper bag, and one in her changing table.
  8. Nipple shield. My daughter doesn’t always latch well, so I use a nipple shield when necessary. I use the Medela Nipple shield.
  9. Thermometer. I like to keep a thermometer in the bag to have on hand. This is the one that we got at the hospital (brand is MediChoice), so I’ll probably replace it soon with a different one because I feel like it takes too long to do the reading and doesn’t beep when done.


What are the staple items that you like to keep on hand for diaper changes? Anything you feel like I’m missing? What are the products or brands that you love for diaper changes?

Slowing Down to Appreciate the Little Things

Good morning.  :)


I’ll start by saying that my son is a lot like me. He is strong willed (I think this is a positive trait), seems to need to process things, takes a while to wake up in the morning or after naps, and is cranky if he’s hungry or not feeling well. So it shouldn’t come to a surprise to me when he displays any of these behaviors.

With that being said, my son is fighting a cold of some sort and he feels miserable. When I see his nose dripping, I know that it may also be a predictor of things to come. So the past couple days have consisted of many temper tantrums and melt downs. Yesterday morning was a particularly long one that we both struggled with good attitudes.

It consisted of pacifiers in coffee, running away when asked to come, time-outs (Me: “What did you just do to the baby?” H: “I bite her toe”) and other general typical 2-year old behavior. My patience was stretched as I was trying to fix the straps on the newborn seat and couldn’t reconnect them properly. I was pretty sure we’d be stuck in the house FOREVER, right around the same time that my son thought that using me and the baby as an obstacle course and putting the dogs paw in his mouth was a good idea.

pacifier in coffee
I’m thinking there’s probably not a market for caffeinated pacifiers.


In the rush of things, I can miss the moments that it’s all about. Like his cuddles and kisses with his sister. Or stopping and sitting in the lawn of the Library for 15 minutes to watch the construction workers. Or the beautiful sky and amazing weather. Or watching my husband play with my son and seeing the joy on both of their faces (and feeling it in my heart). Or snuggles with my newborn.

Watching the road work
Fascinated by the road work. After dinner he wore his “munshin marker” (construction worker) hat and hammered for a good 45 minutes.


At the end of the day last night as we were slowing down to get ready for bed, my son looked up from his oversized construction had and sweetly said “Thank you playing with me”. How can your heart melt and be full at the same time. At that moment, I thought through my day, I remembered what truly matters. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that the “little” things, really aren’t so little after all.

These sweet moments won’t last forever. I need to remember to slow down and take them in.


Today I’m going to make a conscious effort to slow down and appreciate those things in my life that bring me joy and put energy into building into those things, rather than giving energy to frustrations.


What are the little things that bring you joy? How do you slow down to appreciate life?



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