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Posts from the ‘baby’ Category

Guided Access: Keeping Your Apple Device Kid-Friendly


I’ll be honest, they’re are times when 5 minutes of Avery on the iPad give me just enough time to get my stuff packed up uninterrupted so we can be out the door and on our way. Not something I’m overly proud of, just speaking the truth. The kid loves to look at pictures of himself and if it means he’s occupied for a few seconds, I’m game.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of children deleting every photo from a specific album, or launching the Living Social app and purchasing a cruise (that really happened!). Butttttt, after doing a little research, I learned that Apple made a way to avoid these mishaps.

Of course they did.

Guided Access keeps tiny fingers in a specific app, while eliminating certain areas of the screen so that even if they’re tapped, they won’t respond to a touch.


1. Tap settings, then go to ‘General’.


2. Tap ‘Accessibility’.


3. Scroll down until you see ‘Guided Access’. Tap.


4. Turn on Guided Access, then set a passcode. You’ll also want to make sure ‘Accessibility  Shortcut’ is set to the on position.


(Bear with me on this next part, once you’re in Guided Access, it disables you from taking screenshots, so I had to take photos of the screen as best I could. Also, I switched from iPhone with those screenshots to iPad for the actual photos, but you should be able to follow along as they’re very similar).

5. Open the child’s app, camera, or photos (whatever it is they like to look at), then triple-click your home button. Guided Access should now pop up. At the bottom of the piano, there’s an area I’ve tried to highlight with red. It says “circle the areas of the screen you would like to disable”.


Because we have a free version of ‘My baby piano’, there are still ads. Thanks to Guided Access, I can make sure Avery doesn’t click on the ads that then lead to the internet. If you’re child likes to just look at himself in the camera, you can disable him from getting to the pictures and accidentally deleting them by blocking off that specific area of the screen.


6. Once you’ve circled them, the device will recognize the area and make a block that you can then resize.


Now that you’ve blocked off these certain areas, Guided Access will remember this the next time you open this app again.

7. Tap ‘Start’ in the upper right-hand corner. If it’s your first time using Guided Access, you’ll be prompted to enter a 4-digit passcode and then verify it by typing it again.


8. You are now running Guided Access and your screen should look like this:


And then this:


A few things to note:

You can disable the home button so that if it’s accidentally pressed, nothing happens by selecting ‘Hardware Buttons’ from Step 6:


When Guided Access is on, your phone will vibrate should a call come in, but it will not actually ring. A very small banner will appear at the top of the screen to let you know a call is coming in, but it’s very easy to miss a call when Guided Access is running.

The volume can’t be turned up or down once you’ve started running it, so make sure the device is at a comfortable volume before starting Guided Access. Otherwise it’s a lot of fumbling, entering passcodes, restarting Guided Access, etc..

After your first time using Guided Access in each app, all you have to do it open an app, tap the home button 3 times, and Guided Access will automatically start without having to enter any passcodes.

9. Once you’re ready to exit Guided Access, tap the home button 3 times quickly. You’ll be prompted to enter your passcode. Enter and then tap ‘End’ in the upper left-hand corner. Your app will remain open, but you can just tap the home button to return to the main screen.


Seems like a lot of steps, but this built-in feature is a lifesaver when it comes to making sure kids stay in a specific app (and when you just need 5 uninterrupted minutes!)


Cloth Diapers: The First 5 Months

cloth diapers

Let me begin this post by saying that we are by no means tree-hugging hippies, I’ve always been intrigued by cloth diapers, and the more research I did throughout my pregnancy, the more I was convinced that cloth was best for us. However, I totally understand cloth isn’t for everyone. There are times I have to make myself to do another load of diapers and I’m still working on getting the hubs 100% on board. Cloth diapers have come a long way, but most people don’t understand that and you will get lots of questions when people find out you’re using cloth, just be prepared.

So, cloth diapers: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

We started out with two different kinds of diapers, Charlie Banana and Fuzzibunz. The Charlie Banana are, by far, my favorite. We bought 24 Charlie Banana and 4 Fuzzibunz, but I ended up selling the Fuzzibunz on Craigslist because I just could not get them to work. So now we have 24 cloth diapers, and that’s plenty for us, I launder them every other day and that still leaves us a few extra.

Like I said in a previous post, we didn’t end up using cloth exclusively until Avery was about 8 weeks old. Any earlier, the diapers were so big that they just looked uncomfortable on his tiny body. Initially, the diapers were a big investment, but it won’t take long before they pay for themselves. Plus, we won’t have to buy anymore for our kids in the future.

We also just started using these | reusable wipes | and it makes cloth diapering much easier. Having to dig through a dirty diaper to get the wipes out isn’t the most glamorous job, but with reusable wipes, everything can be thrown into the washer at once. Plus, the wipes come in adorable patterns, and no two are the same.

We started off with just 1 | wet bag | but ended up buying another one when all the dirty diapers wouldn’t fit into just 1. I also got a smaller | wet bag | to keep in the diaper bag that just holds a few diapers when we’re out and about.

Laundering them isn’t nearly as bad as I thought, in fact, there’s virtually no touching of the dirty diapers once they’re in the wet bag that hangs in his closet. Just unzip the zipper and drop them into the washer.

One other plus to note is that we’ve never had a blowout escape the diaper. Hallelujah! Cloth diapers fit pretty snug if they’re on  right, so essentially, everything stays in the diaper.

Finally, much to my disbelief, these diapers don’t stain! In the summer, I was drying them outside and the sun would bleach them out amazingly well- they looked brand new each time!

. . .

We have run into a few issues when it comes to cloth, but nothing that would make me stop using them altogether. The first problem (and it’s not necessarily even a problem), but cloth diapered babies need to be changed more often. Not a big deal if you have enough diapers on hand.

Second, I’ve found that if any part of the fleece is touching his clothes, they wick. They don’t leak, they just wick onto his clothes, which is super annoying, but easily avoidable if I’m diligent about making sure all of the fleece is tucked inside of the diaper.

Third, the diapers stink, and we’re still working through this. Now that fall is here and I can’t dry the diapers out in the sun, I’ve found that they have a gross smell to them every time I take one off. I think when we’re done with the current detergent we’re using, I’ll try switching to another. A typical cycle is pre-wash in hot, then wash with detergent and a second rinse in warm. And they’re still stinky. Not overly, just annoyingly. If anyone has suggestions, I’d LOVE to hear them!

Finally, now that’s he’s sleeping longer at night, we put him in a disposable to sleep, otherwise, he wakes up soaking! I haven’t ever tried double-stuffing them at night, only because it looks super uncomfortable. So for now, he’s in a disposable at night.

We also do disposables when we go on vacation, (because no one likes to lug dirty diapers home), or if I know someone will be watching him for a few hours. I’m not one who feels guilty about slapping a disposable on her baby every now and then. And a pack of 40 disposables will last us a little less than a month, which I’m not complaining about, seeing as how we’re only spending about $7 a month on diapers.

There you have it! Our experience with cloth diapers the last 5 months, it’s not glamorous, but his diaper booty is pretty dang adorable!

0-3 Month Essentials

How did my baby suddenly become 3 months old? When I first began thinking of this post, he was just a few weeks old and 3 months seemed like an eternity. And now, here we are.

We have tried to keep the baby clutter to a minimum around our house, which is what we promised we’d do from the beginning. Ian and I both agreed we didn’t want to be those people with every baby gadget known to mankind. The people who’s house you go to and there’s nowhere to sit because baby gear have taken over.
We did acquire a hand-me-down swing which has been nice, and this sort of bouncy seat that I can put him in while I’m making dinner and have him up on the counter with me., but neither of those are pictured here.

Here are what we decided were “essentials” in having a newborn around the house:

0-3 Month Essentials

1. | Hanna Anderson PJs |
They are soft, snuggly, and come in adorable patterns. Plus, I really like that they don’t have built-in feet. Avery had a few pair of PJs like that, but they always seemed so uncomfortable and tight. Because these don’t have feet, he can wear them even if they’re a little big. They also make diaper changes in the middle of the night a breeze because there are no buttons to mess with (bonus!). Costco has Hannah Anderson sleepers off and on as well for way less than average. Target also makes some genius | ones | that zip from the top-down, so you don’t have to unzip them all the way to change them.

2. Medela Symphony Breast Pump.
It’s commercial grade. Enough said. No, but really, this is what they let us use in the hospital and we were able to rent it from Walgreens for I think $2/day or $50/month. If you can find this to rent somewhere, I’d highly recommend it, especially during the first few weeks.

3. iPhone.
Avery loves to play on my iPhone, it keeps him busy for hours. Juuuuuust kidding! (It’s actually scary how young littles know how to unlock iPhones these days). But no, the iPhone was essential for me. For starters, it holds about 95% of the photos we have of Avery. It’s so much easier to snap a photo of him with that rather than lug out the big camera. Second, in the first few weeks when we were getting into the swing of things and running on little sleep, I would take a screenshot when I started feeding. If I couldn’t remember the last time I fed him, I’d just look back at my pictures and see the time. Finally, my phone worked for helping keep me awake during middle-of-the-night feedings while perusing Pinterest.

4. | Aden + Anais Bamboo Swaddle Blankets |
These blankets are heavenly. They are also slightly larger than the muslin ones from Target, which was great for us because Avery loved to be swaddled. They were also the perfect lightweight blanket to have around in the hot summer months, and great for throwing over he and I when nursing to remain decent.

5. | Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers |
Of the two brands I bought, these are, by far, my fave. I wasn’t sure how early we’d start cloth diapering, but I had them all ready to go, just in case. We started exclusively using cloth at about 8 weeks, only because I felt like any earlier, they looked really uncomfortable on his tiny body. More on cloth diapers coming in a follow-up post, so stay tuned.

6. | The-Pat-a-Cake-Baby Large Wet Bag |
I just happened to come across this wet bag on Etsy and I’m so glad I did. I wasn’t fond of any of the others I’d seen, so I was thankful to find some with cute fabric. I ended up buying two of these and I love the fact that I can dump the diapers out of it without touching them, and then throw the wet bag directly into the wash too.

7. | Precious Firsts Onesies |
We have a long, skinny boy on our hands, so I’ve found that these onesies fit him best. Plus, they are super-soft and inexpensive.

8. | Praying the Scriptures for your Children |
A dear friend sent me this book shortly after Avery was born and I love it! Highly recommend this read for any mom.

There you have it! Our most-used baby items during the first 3 months. Of course, there are plenty more items that didn’t make the list including a Boppy (which I swore I didn’t need), the world’s most comfortable | rocking chair |, and plenty of homemade burp cloths.

A Boy and His Dog

And we were worried Goose wouldn’t like the baby…

Better Late than Never

You’d think that since I make announcements for clients, I’d be on top of it when it came to making them for my own son.

You’d think.

The funny thing is, I was totally organized when it came to his announcements. I had the envelopes addressed, lined, and stamped a week before his due date. I also had his announcement designed, all that was missing was his stats and a photo.

Then he arrived.

And I was too busy snuggling, loving, and kissing this adorable little mini-Ian to upload the photos I’d taken and spend 5 minutes on the computer, putting the finishing touches on his announcement and getting it ordered.
But finally, a few days shy of his 1 month birthday, our friends and family received Avery’s announcement in the mail.

I love the way they turned out. LOVE.

Simplicity was the name of the game.

Black and white. Faux washi tape. Bold letters. A scalloped edge. Muscle car postage stamps.


And I’m so excited to be introducing scalloped-edge paper products in the | shop | today.

Here’s a peek at what’s available now, more are coming soon!

Scallop Template Wide