The boys and I were asked by our friends Cassidy and Riley to share some Mom + Me Halloween costume ideas in collaboration with Pottery Barn Kids because really is there anything cuter than a coordinating family costume concept for Halloween?
I mean, as parents we obviously can’t participate in the trick-or-treating, so why not be one of the fun parents and dress up with your little one. After four years of coordinating costumes (super heroes, pumpkins, Curious George characters, Mickey Mouse and friends), I would consider us to be almost pros at family-coordinating Halloween costumes by now, but I think this year might just take the cake since it’s not only a kid concept, but something adults can totally get as well.
Mother of Dragons and Dragon Entourage…
So in all honesty, when Cassidy told me what she wanted me to be, my first thought was “oh cute” a mom and baby dragons. My mind did not immediately go to the Emmy-winning television show Game of Thrones (gasp! I know…let’s blame it on the sleepless nights or mommy brain or something like that). And then, I realized that I was Khaleesi with my own little entourage of dragons and I decided it was the coolest “mommy” costume for the moment because it’s relevant for the adults, but a concept kids love as well for an entirely different reason.
If you can’t tell from the images, Holden LOVES his dragon costume. Since this photoshoot Holden has basically lived in it, wearing it the grocery store, the playground, museums…everywhere….despite the heat wave we have been experiencing in Southern California. He even won a costume contest with it! And it’s not even Halloween yet.
I’ve mentioned this on instagram, but these past seven months of Baby Gray’s life have really flown by. When Holden was a baby, I was constantly pleading for time to slow down, to give me even more moments with my baby before he became a boy. But life with a second baby moves as if in fast forward and it seems as if those momentous steps that propel babies into boyhood keep coming sooner than I expect.
^^^The bassinest swiveled out which allowed me to easily get out of the bed
^^^A little nook of our room that we turned into Gray’s changing station and brand new baby Gray.
^^^See how close I could turn the bassinest into my bed here. Gray was always snuggled in as close as possible
^^^Checking out the light.
Last month, we officially moved Gray out of the bassinet that was nestled closely into my bedside and into his big brother’s room which they now share. I love having my boys near me during the night and moving them into a room of their own is always a little bittersweet (bitter because I miss and worry about them during the night when they are in their own room, but sweet because I’m hoping it will help everyone sleep better). There’s something about keeping them close that allows me to sleep more soundly and peacefully knowing that they are nearby. Not to mention, the fact that it is imperative for a baby to be within arms reach when I am waking up every other hour or so to nurse.
We co-slept with Holden until he was three. It is what worked for our family at the time and enabled everyone to get the most and best sleep. Around Holden’s third birthday, we went out and bought him a big boy bed, a bunk bed per his request, and he decided on his own from that point on that he wanted to sleep in his own room in his own bed. Before that point, Holden had a toddler bed, but it wasn’t until we purchased that bunk bed that he decided he wanted to sleep on his own.
I was kind of hoping that same co-sleeping arrangement would work for baby Gray, but from the very beginning Gray liked sleeping in his own space. The Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper was the best of both worlds for me. Gray had his own bed and plenty of space, but was still at my bedside. I could reach him or peek over the side to check on him at a moment’s notice which I did often throughout the nightto make sure he was breathing because I tend to be paranoid about those types of things. The Halo Bassinest has a swivel base so it’s easy to move around (I wasn’t trapped in the bed or having to climb to the end of the bed in order to just get out and use the bathroom in the middle of the night) and it has a retractable wall where the side actually bends down when you put pressure on it (and pops right back up when you remove your arms) so that I could easily take Gray out without having to lift him up and over. I think my favorite part of the Halo Bassinest is the fact that it has a light, breastfeeding timer, noise machine, music, and vibration settings all built into the side. I honestly think that this bassinet is such a genius invention. So, if you happen to be looking for baby bassinet to keep your newborn by your bedside, I can’t recommend the Halo Bassinest enough.
Here is the second half of our day that we spent with Jessica Davis that runs from mid afternoon until the boys went to sleep. If you didn’t see the previous post, we spent an entire day with Jessica who followed us around with a camera from the time the boys woke up in the morning around 8 AM until the time they went to sleep around 8 PM. Jessica just recently launched the Honest Hours project and we were lucky enough to be one of her first clients for the project. The Honest Hours project documents the daily life of a family from sun up to sun down and all of the familiar moments in between.
^^^After the beach, we usually change and then head to the grass area that sits directly above the ocean for a picnic, painting, and coloring for a little bit of down time after all of the running around and splashing down at the beach.
^^^I usually bring a tent for Grayson to play in since there isn’t any shade.
^^^After we’ve finished our picnic and played on the grass and at the playground for a little while, we walk over to get smoothies.
^^^Finally, we are back home around dinnertime and taking a few minutes to unwind from the day.
^^^Gray fell asleep for a mini nap when we got home so Holden had the bath to himself tonight.
^^^He’s totally ready for bed, right 😉 Not energetic at all….
^^^He loves board games. We are playing Bingo before stories and bedtime.
I don’t know about you, but my iphone tends to fill to the capacity at least once a week if I don’t do a photo dump to my computer because I tend to over document our outings, activities, and silly moments throughout the day with my little ones (you know when you look through your phone and you see 50 photos of the same moment with just slight differences to them so you could basically make a flip book, but you can’t delete any of them because of they are all slightly different…you know what I’m talking about, right?). I have so many images of the boys that I probably will never be able to go back and look through them all in this lifetime, but the images of myself with the boys tend to be styled photoshoots or family photo ops, rather than candid, real moments. And those are the images I will truly miss looking back on.
Those special moments between me and the boys that we share throughout the day, that certain twirl Holden does with his hair while he’s thinking, that look of delight when baby Gray finds his toes, that special time I always share with the boys before bedtime under the Christmas lights hanging on Holden’s bed when the world is still and quiet – all of those intimate, significant, routine moments, the ones I want to engrain in my memory forever because I know that while they are a part of my everyday now, they will soon change into something completely different as the boys grow up and although I will have resolved to never forget, I know that these everyday moments will fade from my memory (because lets be honest, I can’t even remember where I put the keys two seconds after turning off the car). Those are the moments I want documented.
Well, that’s where Jessica Davis came in. Jessica Davis is a crazy talented photographer based out of Solana Beach who just recently started the Honest Hours project and we were lucky enough to be one of her first clients for the project. The Honest Hours project documents the daily life of a family from sun up to sun down and all of the familiar moments in between which means that Jessica followed us around with a camera for an entire day, from the time the boys woke up around 8 AM, until the time they went to sleep around 8 PM. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary for the day as I wanted to document exactly what my daily routine with the boys is like at this time in our lives. I didn’t want this photoshoot to be the perfect family shoot, I wanted it to be the real us as we are now.
So without further ado, here is part one of our day with Jessica…
^^^Waking up and reading our favorite book in bed.
^^^The hair twirl when he was thinking..He used to do this ALL of the time and now he doesn’t anymore
^^^Playtime after waking up almost always involves cars and trucks.
^^^Holden’s favorite breakfast is pancakes. Not really an everyday thing, but he asked for them this morning.
^^^Holden likes to cook. This chef outfit of his hangs on his wooden play kitchen and he always wears it when he is cooking.
^^^Packing our picnic for the outing today. Wearing Gray because this happy baby of mine was teething for the first time ever and did not want to be put down on this day. I was like of all days, not today Gray…but he was happy if I wore him so that’s how today went.
^^^A little art before we leave because this kid is always drawing or painting.
^^^Getting ready to leave for the day.
^^^Fletcher Cove…our most favorite way to spend the day.
These photos are one of the most beautiful gifts that anyone could have ever given me. To have this time in our lives captured on film is worth it’s weight in gold. Both the boys have already grown and changed so much since the photoshoot which was only a couple of months ago, and I already love going back to those photos and saying to myself, I remember when he used to do that.
The only thing that could have made it better would be to have Mr. B in the images with us. We had planned the photoshoot for a day during the week and Mr. B was supposed to stay home from work that day. Unfortunately, something came up at the office and he had to jet off to LA that morning so we had to carry on without him. But this is our reality, I am home with the boys by myself as a stay-at-home mom while my husband goes to work and unless it is a weekend, this is what a day in our life looks like right now. But you know what that means…that we will just have to do another one that we plan for the weekend
If I can be completely honest, I am not really a big foodie person. I am one of those eat to live people and not a live to eat person. I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years and went vegan about 6 months ago when I discovered baby Gray had some sensitivity to lactose in my breastmilk. Although I know that there are numerous options for vegetarians and vegans when it comes to meals, I tend to eat the same meals day in and day out and find it hard to break out of my routine. So when Blue Apron reached out to me about trying out their meal delivery service, I jumped at the chance to try something new!
Blue Apron is a service that delivers fresh ingredients in a refrigerated box right to your doorstep, all packaged in the right amounts for the recipes to make three different meals.
The fresh ingredients are accompanied by recipe cards that contain 6 simple steps for making your meal. They are simple to follow which is important when you’re cooking-challenged like myself (ha!) Holden is really into cooking right now (he gets it from his Daddy) so he took the lead on this one (with our direction and supervision of course).
Mr. B goes out of town for a few days almost every single week and when it’s just me and the boys I find it almost impossible to look up a new recipe, go to the store to purchase all of the ingredients (especially because you almost always have to buy 10 new spices and sauces that you don’t already own and will probably never use again), and then prepare and cook everything while watching my boys at the end of a long day. Blue Apron delivers all of the ingredients already pre-measured which means nothing goes to waste and makes the preparation simple.
Blue Apron made my life so much easier for the week and made meal-time run quickly and smoothly. There was no “what are we having for dinner tonight?” question or last minute trips to the grocery store. The recipes were simple enough to follow (just ask Holden), the meals were easy to make, and the food was delicious. We even saved the recipe cards so that we can remake the meals on our own in the future.
The convenience of having fresh ingredients, pre-measured, and then dropped at your doorstep made the entire experience feel like the luxury of going out to eat, but without missing out on the fun that goes along with preparing and cooking a meal together.
So if you’re stuck in a rut with your meal routine or you just want a break from meal planning and grocery shopping for the week, check out Blue Apron. I promise, you will not be disappointed. You can also check out the Blue Apron cookbook here to try out a few of the recipes on your own!
This post is in partnership with Blue Apron. Go check them out! You will be thanking me 😉