Meal Milestones with OXO tot!

OXO sent me products to facilitate my review. As always, all opinions are 100% mine!

Baby June has been all about feeding herself recently! At 6 months, I introduced purees to her. She gagged, winced, and made faces no matter what I gave her! Fruits, veggies, rice cereal mixed in…she was NOT a fan. I was worried because Ada and Lola were both great eaters and had no issue with purees.

Well, after some failed attempts I backed off for a while. I was worried that we had a picky eater on our hands and I didn’t want to ruin food for her. Then, while I would eat, Junie would say, “Mmm!” and try to pry my lips open. I started giving her little bites of soft foods and she was in LOVE! I would put things into her mouth and she had to pull it out, inspect it, and then put it back in her mouth and eat it. She is a little independent eater!

As you can imagine, it’s a messy business. She is so happy, though! I am loving OXO’s Roll-Up Bib because it has a pocket at the bottom that catches all of the food that doesn’t end up in baby’s mouth. Then, when not in use, it rolls into itself. They think of everything! Even the On-the-Go Feeding Spoon comes with a plastic case that is perfect for tossing into the diaper bag.

June is loving sipping water and learning how to drink with the Transitions Sippy Cup Set. See how she’s tipping it in the pictures? It doesn’t even spill! Then, when she’s old enough, there is a grown up training lid that mimics an adult cup.

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Rest Easy with Plum Organics® Grow Well® Infant Formula

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhyPlumFormula #CollectiveBias #Sponsored

When my first baby was just 2 months old, I had to go to the Emergency Room. I was up all night with horrible pain in my back and side and throwing up. It turned out to be a gallbladder attack :( As my husband was driving me to the hospital, I remember being so worried about my baby girl (Ada) because I was exclusively breast feeding her. We had some formula samples at home, so I knew if I wasn’t home in time to feed her again that Matt could make her a bottle. When the hours passed, Matt texted me that he had tried feeding her some formula and she screamed! I was so heartbroken, feeling helpless and horrible.

That experience taught me to give baby some tastes of formula from a young age. With our next two babies, we have introduced formula to them even though I breast feed them. Just a bottle here and there to get them accustomed to the taste so that I can feel confident if I leave that they can be happy with a bottle of formula. I have left bottles of pumped breast milk thinking, “there’s no way the baby will go through all of that,” to hear from my mom that baby has guzzled them down and she was mixing a bottle of formula for them! Nothing worries a mama heart more than thinking of your baby crying and hungry while you are away!

If my baby isn’t getting my breast milk, I want to know that what they are getting is top notch. Enter Plum Organics® Grow Well® Infant Formula. It’s organic and non-GMO with no corn syrup solids added. Lactose is the most abundant carbohydrate found in breast milk, which is essential for baby’s quickly growing brain. Plum Organics’ carbohydrate source is from cow’s milk lactose only. Their infant formula is primarily cows’ milk, broken down into components and fortified with nutrients found in breast milk. I love being able to rest easy knowing that baby is getting the best product with no harmful ingredients.

Oribel PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center

This post is in partnership with Oribel thanks to The Motherhood. I received product in exchange for this review. This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Kara in the Kitchen!

June is going to be 7 months old tomorrow! She is at the age where she is grabbing everything and exploring the world around her. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1I knew I wanted to give her an activity center for Christmas, so when this opportunity came about, I was so excited! Oribel’s PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center is the perfect gift for new or expecting parents. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-3June is in love with all of the different toys to play with on the top. She is using the PortaPlay in the lowest setting. It has a bouncy seat that rotates 360 degrees and legs that are adjustable in height as your child grows. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-4 Once your baby has grown out of the PortaPlay, it transforms into an activity table! I love that this will be a toy we won’t have to pass on once June grows out of it. It will grow with her as a budding artist :) You can purchase a roll of paper and stools for the activity table separately. oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-5 I LOVE this aspect of the PortaPlay: the legs fold down for easy storage. Genius! oribel-portaplay-convertible-activity-center-karainthekitchen-com-1-2The PortaPlay is available on Amazon.com here: Oribel PortaPlay Activity Center – Forest Friends

Check out Oribel’s Porta Play video for all of the features:

The Evenflo Sibby in New York City!

This post was sponsored by Evenflo as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received the Evenflo Sibby Travel System to facilitate my review.

We took the Evenflo Sibby, available at Target, to New York City and it was the perfect stroller for the trip! It is lightweight and has a little Ride-Along board on the back that a second child can ride on. Knowing my Lola, I was so excited to have a place for her to take a break with all of the walking we were going to do in the city.

Here we are trying Shake Shack for the first time outside of the Museum of Natural History! It was so good!! Junie was happy as a clam in the Sibby, even without the carseat part. I did not want to fly with it or deal with it on the subway, so I left it in the car at LAX.Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the KitchenI gate checked the stroller, so I took it through security with June in the wrap on me. I was able to close it up with one hand by myself, walk through the metal detector, and then open it up by myself on the other side. On the subway, we tried to take elevators as much as possible (P-U), but there were times where we had to carry it down the stairs. I would carry the bottom rung and my mom would carry the handles. Packed down with my beefy baby, diaper bag, and water bottles, it was quite the work out! I was so grateful for the times that people would offer to carry it up or down the stairs for us. New Yorkers are so friendly!  Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the KitchenHere is what the stroller looks like with the car seat inside of it. It clicks in with one click and lifts out easily as well. I like the shape of the carseat handle, it rests easily in the crook of your arm. With this configuration, you have to lay the stroller back a bit more. Junie slept in New York City with it flat quite a bit. There is mesh in the back so I could see her and make sure she was nice and cool! We got so many comments on that little white fan while there!! People kept saying they wished that they could have a little fan of their own :) I bought it here on Amazon (affiliate link).Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the KitchenOn top of the Empire State Building with my girls! My mom is taking the picture because she is scared of heights and didn’t go anywhere near the edge :) I had another mom ask me in line what kind of stroller this was, she had two young boys and loved the Ride-Along feature! It was great because the girls would ride it and then hook it back up so I didn’t kick it. The only thing I wish the stroller had is longer or adjustable handles. I am 5’7″ and I felt like I had to hunch over a bit to reach the handles while Lola was on the Ride-Along board. Other than that, we are loving the Sibby! Evenflo Sibby - Kara in the Kitchen

WaterWipes at Babies R Us

This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

As a mom of three (!), I am always looking for the best products for my children. Look at my little shopping sidekick! How could you not want to give that face the best? You know of my love for WaterWipes from a previous post, and this is one product that I have continued to use and buy for my family since writing about it the last time. Water Wipes - karainthekitchen.com-4Ever since having Ada, I have carried baby wipes around with me everywhere I go. Even after Lola was potty trained and before we had a new baby! They are the best to have on hand for messes, sticky hands, and faces. I have also been known to wipe down a table or two while out to eat! My Babies R Us has WaterWipes in the diapering section right at eye level. Water Wipes - karainthekitchen.com-3On our road trip to Santa Fe? WaterWipes in the car and diaper bag. On our trip to New York City? WaterWipes in the suitcase and diaper bag. Actually, my bag was stopped at airport security after going through the x-ray machine. It turns out that it was the two packages of WaterWipes that looked suspicious! It didn’t get searched on the way home, though. As you know, I love that WaterWipes are just water and fruit extract. While in New York City, June got a little bit of a diaper rash. I think it’s because her skin isn’t used to the heat and humidity. I thought that I would keep an eye on it and if it didn’t go away in a day, I would buy some diaper cream. I used WaterWipes on her when I changed her diaper that whole day and the rash cleared up on its own! I think it’s because there are no added chemicals or scents to the wipes. I have smelled some doozies!! One brand that shall not be named has a bitter smell to them. I really like that WaterWipes don’t have a smell so that you can wipe your face and hands with them and not worry about smelling funny. If you’d like to try WaterWipes out, enter the giveaway below! You could win one of 5 $100 gift cards to Babies R Us! Hurry though, the contest ends on August 18th. Good luck!

Water Wipes - karainthekitchen.com-2 
WaterWipes Babies”R”Us Giveaway

I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5 winners).

WaterWipes in our hotel in NYC! I was temped to wipe down the window with one ;)
Water Wipes NYC - Kara in the KitchenFind out where WaterWipes are sold near you here.

June’s Birth Story

June Deanne arrived Friday, May 13, 2016 at 2:43 AM!

9 lbs. 9 oz.

21 1/2 in. long

15 in. head circumference

June was due on May 12th. Since I was 10 days overdue with Ada and 4 days overdue with Lola, I was sure that I’d be going at least a few days over with June. For most of my pregnancy, I told people that I was due on May 17th, my Bobba’s birthday, so that I could avoid the barrage of, “Is baby here yet?” questions. I made sure that my due date was packed with appointments and things to do so that I could stay busy and keep my mind off being due with no baby.

Thursday the 12th looked like this:

Get girls ready for school

Drop girls off

Joke with teachers about how I’d see them on Monday, still pregnant

Pick girls up from school

Go to 40 week check-up

Take girls to get their hair cut

Go to Orcutt Burger for dinner

Get my nails done

I had a full day! And stay busy I did. Well, at my check-up, when Dr. Rasul checked me, I was 4 cm dilated! I asked her to strip my membranes and she said that I would probably go into labor that night. She wanted to send me right over to labor and delivery, but my doctor (Colton) wanted to send me home. Less intervention = better chance of VBAC. I agreed and wanted to go home too to finish my list of to dos for the day! I was having some mild cramping but nothing unbearable. As I was leaving, she looked me up and down and said, “I don’t think baby will be 9 lbs. You let me know.” I went about the rest of my day and it was when I was getting my manicure that things were getting a little more uncomfortable. It was so funny, I closed the place down so they were mopping the floor while my nails were being finished. They said not to get out of the chair and walk, they would push me in my chair to the front. So I had two guys pushing hugely pregnant me in the rolling chair along with the owner walking behind us saying, “Taxi!” It was hilarious!

When I got home from the nail place around 8:30 PM, I told Matt and the girls that we needed to get packed up so the girls could spend the night at my mom’s that night. After a false alarm the week before (which really was my body doing some work and progressing), I already had everyone’s bags ready. So it was just the toiletries and electronics that needed to be added to the bags. As I was packing the bathroom stuff, painful contractions started. I was timing them on my phone and they were 3-4 minutes apart. I’d texted my mom after my doctor’s appointment so she had dropped off sub plans at her classroom just in case it was the real deal! We dropped the girls off at my mom’s and I stayed in the car it was so painful. Matt comes back out to the car and asks, “So, home or hospital? Maybe we can watch one more episode of Walking Dead?” I just looked at him and said, “Hospital. Now!” He dropped me at the ER door since it was after hours (11 PM) and went to park the car. I waddled in and said, “Hi, I’m in labor.” They got me in a wheelchair and took me up to L&D. Matt came up and joined me in the little triage area where they made sure I was actually in active labor. Baby girl was definitely coming tonight!June's Birth - karainthekitchen.comContractions at this point were getting closer and getting up on the little bed with metal bars on the side was not comfortable or fun. My nurse was awesome and stayed with me the whole time I labored! She rubbed my back and talked me through contractions. She said I started squatting while holding onto Matt and she knew we had to get into a delivery room. I had no idea I was doing that, it’s amazing what your body instinctively does to get through pain.

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LATCH Lets Me…

I can’t believe how much has changed since I had a baby last! When Ada and Lola were babes, the word from my pediatrician about bottle feeding was to be careful because my baby could have nipple confusion. As a new mom, I was so worried about messing up the groove we had going so I exclusively breastfed. I didn’t want them to be confused or have a bad latch while nursing because of the bottle! Now I know that my babies are going to be fine no matter what kind of nipple the milk is coming from. ;)Munchkin LATCH - karainthekitchen.com-1Another thing that has changed is that insurance companies now cover breast pumps! Game changer! With Ada & Lola, I had a battery-powered pump that was given to me. It hurt and took forever, so needless to say, I wasn’t wild about pumping. It was easier just to breastfeed the baby. Now, I have a hospital grade pump that is comfortable and gets the job done quickly. On days when June is sleeping and I don’t want to wake her, I will pump and have a nice little stash of milk going in the freezer.Munchkin LATCH - karainthekitchen.com-1-4 Bottles have gotten better, too! Munchkin LATCH bottles have a flexible nipple that mimics the breast and supports going back and forth between breastfeeding and bottle feeding. I have loved Munchkin products for years (have you seen their amazing no-spill cups?!) and am always excited by the new designs they are coming out with. Today I saw Hello Kitty products (Lola’s fav) and our Munchkin trash pail has kept our diaper changing area stink-free! Check out my video review showing you the Munchkin LATCH bottle features:

It is so freeing to know that I can go somewhere (hey, taking a shower counts) and Matt can feed June my milk. She has loved the Munchkin LATCH bottles and drank a whole large bottle her first time trying it! I love that Munchkin has the different level of flow nipples so that she can use the bottles now as a newborn and continue to as she grows.Munchkin LATCH - karainthekitchen.com-1-5Ingenious bottle brush, sterilizing bag, and super thin and absorbent breast pads.Munchkin LATCH - karainthekitchen.com-1-3As a mother, it is hard to enjoy anything if you know your baby isn’t happy. Munchkin LATCH lets me rest easy no matter what I’m doing, knowing that my baby will be happy and fed :)

June Deanne’s Newborn Photo Shoot

At 8 days old, Matt and I put Junie on our bed and took pictures of her sweet newborn-ness. She only peed on the blankets twice :)June Newborn - karainthekitchen.comJune Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com June Newborn - karainthekitchen.com

She is such a good baby! Super vocal and grunts a ton, and makes happy little content noises after nursing. Eats like a teenage boy, sleeps like an angel. She’s been giving us 6 hour stretches at night and I love her for it! Her hair is lighter than Ada & Lola’s was and her eyes are looking like they are going to be blue. Labor story coming soon :)

Baby’s Journey AT&T Baby Monitor

This post was sponsored by Baby’s Journey as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary merchandise to facilitate my review.AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)

You guys, today marks 20 days until my due date! Baby June will be here before we know it. It has been so interesting to me how things have changed since I had Lola in 2011. Technology and baby items have come a long way! When it comes to baby monitors, we have had numerous ones over the years. We thought ours was so cool because it would be silent and only turn on when our babies made noise – instead of constant static in the background. We had to keep our girls’ noise machine in their room on “rushing water” to keep that monitor from picking it up. Suffice it to say that none of our previous baby monitors have compared to the Baby’s Journey Smart Sync monitor!AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)-2The five inch touch screen is crystal clear and the night vision ensures that I can see everything in Junie’s room, even at night. The app is compatible with iPhone & Android phones, so while Matt’s gone he can check in. I love that I can track all of her feedings, diaper changes, and stats on the monitor, too. That way we can have an accurate record of all of her numbers. Matt is big on stats, and in the past has asked me when the baby last ate and how much…I was so tired that I’d just rattle off an estimated time and amount! I knew baby was asleep and happy, so I didn’t pay much mind to tracking feedings. They have been fat, happy babes, so I am hoping that baby sister follows suit :) AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)-3The monitor also has wifi (make sure you’re using a secure/encrypted connection…those creeper stories freak me out), and you can buy additional cameras for other areas in your home. You can also share photos straight from the monitor to Facebook or Twitter!AT&T Smart Sync mhealth Baby Monitor (1 of 1)-4The monitors are now available online and in-store at Babies “R” Us locations. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/ATTSmartSync

I am getting so excited to meet this baby girl and grateful to have Baby’s Journey help along the way to watch her grow. What is your favorite baby monitor?

A Little News!

We are adding another little pumpkin to the bunch this Spring! Miller-5I’m 14 weeks along and due on May 12th, 2016! With my track record of being overdue – I’m saying May 17th instead. It’s my Bobba’s birthday and would be a great day to have a baby :) Miller-6We are so excited! Ada & Lola can’t wait to be big sisters to baby. Lola kisses my belly and says, “Goodnight, little one.” So far everything looks great! Growth is right on track and baby’s heart rate was 140-142 at my last appointment.Miller-4I am sorry if I’ve avoided you or been short in past months, I’ve been sick. So very tired, too. Thank goodness for Zofran! It took the edge off and helped me keep food down. Wish I would’ve had it with my girls.

Photos by the talented Kirsi of LK Photoshoots! She is so good with my girls and has such a great eye for locations and ideas. Book your spring photo shoot with her here!