Monday’s Mama is HASHTAG GOALS.

Katherine blogs at Welcome to the Nursery and she is every woman. Well, she is every woman who has an engineering background but now stays home to care for two hilarious energetic small children. So, maybe she is you, but she is a hell of a lot more awesome than me.

Katherine is the mom who runs the Puff (1.5yo) and Squish (4yo) nursery. She hung up her engineering hat four years ago to start the mom gig; it turns out her skills of tank driving and bullet design didn’t transfer well to child care, but at least with parenthood you can learn on the job (right?!). Katherine shares her amusements and frustrations along this journey. When the kids are asleep, she nurses a fledgling writing career, obsessively reads English historical fiction, and dabbles in painting and sewing.

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Welcome to the Nursery is full of funny yet thoughtful things her incredibly astute four-yer-old says and some really genius parenting ideas. Katherine is a superwoman, super mom, and probably super fun to hang out with on a mom’s night out. Like, for real, she has so many ideas and they are all so good. How does she have so many good ideas?! When does she sleep?? When does she THINK!? I want to be like Katherine when I grow up.

Katherine answered a few questions and showed that she is COOLER THAN I EVEN KNEW. I mean, Guns N’ Roses? Come on.

1. What is your most favorite grown-up book? Kid’s book?

My blog readers probably know by now that I A) LOVE to read, and B) absolutely adore Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. There are many series I love (by Ted Bell, Daniel Silva, Conn Iggulden, Vince Flynn), but as a standalone book you really can’t top P&P. My favorite kid’s book was Roald Dahl’s The BFG. 
2. Where did your girl’s nicknames ‘Puff’ and ‘Squish’ originate? Are there stories behind those names? Speaking of names, is your blog name a wink to ‘Welcome to the Dollhouse’ or not? I’ve been wondering.

I think my husband came up with both of them, actually. My 4yo’s full nickname is “Squisher Pants,” because as a baby she was such a squishy thing to hug and cuddle. Adding “Pants” to the end of any nickname – or even a full name – is just silly and fun. We sometimes call our 18mo “Puffer Pants,” although mostly it’s just “Puff” or “Puff-Puff.” She is – you guessed it – so puffy! She’s not a really chubby baby, but she’s just so soft! She also likes to “puff” her stuffed animals. It’s so freaking adorable…. 

As for the blog name, I actually named it after the Guns N’ Roses song “Welcome to the Jungle.” Squish was a few months old, and I could already tell that our house was destined to become a madhouse – and I pictured a wild, loud, messy place … the “jungle” with that song blaring in the background. P.S. I have no idea what the lyrics are actually about!

3. It’s the PTA Bakesale: homemade, store bought, or NOPE?

Oh, homemade for sure! I have a decent reputation for baking yummy things – from homemade soft pretzels to Italian seven-layer rainbow cookies. My mom passed down those handy skills … thanks, ma!

Katherine is basically Pinterest personified. You should bookmark her blog and follow her on Twitter.

Monday’s Mama is Crunchy AF.

Introducing Rachel Barry from Pretty in Baby Food. You may already know her, as she is an AMAZING resource for all things Natural Parenting on both her own blog, Pretty in Baby Food, and the soon-to-be-released Guidance Guide website. You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. She is full of knowledge AND often hosts giveaways. She is definitely worth your follow!

Seriously, you guys, if you wonder about anything baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby feeding, traveling with baby, or basically any 2017 mama concerns, Rachel Barry is YOUR GIRL. Don’t let her cute name fool you — Rachel Barry is not actually an anthropomorphic strawberry. Nor is she a character from Glee.

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But she probably DOES spontaneously sing throughout her daily life because Rachel is mom to one beautiful and rambunctious toddler (and toddlers love songs). She is also currently pregnant with her second child. Rachel is a natural parenting and cloth diaper advocate. Her hobbies include dreaming of long walks on the beach while drinking her cold coffee during the day, writing while her daughter naps, and cruising. Her dislikes in life are doing the dishes, cleaning, and laundry. (Except diaper laundry. That’s her favorite. 😊)

Rachel answered a few questions for me here and OF COURSE she took the opportunity to school us some more. Thank you, Rachel!

 

1. What would you do with thirty whole minutes all to yourself IN A ROW every day?

Oh man! This is like the holy grail of alone time. I would probably make myself a cup of coffee, and read or write. (Sometimes I might use it to use the bathroom alone while also reading or writing. Ya know. TO see how my husband feels when he get’s to go to the bathroom. Haha!)

2. I love that you use cloth diapers. Why do YOU cloth diaper and what is your most favorite brand out there? (I know. That is two questions. I cheated.)

Haha! I cloth diaper because it saves my family money. In the first year alone of cloth diapering I have saved my family almost $1,000.00. The second reason I cloth diaper is to reduce trash. I was tired of lugging 4 bags of trash to the curb every trash day. By switching to cloth diapering I have been able to get it down to 2 bags of trash on trash day. Many people don’t know but disposable diapers can take up to 500 years to degrade in a landfill where as a cloth diaper when thrown out can take 6 months to a year depending on what fabric it is made out of.

As for my favorite brand that is a tough question to answer. As a blogger who reviews cloth diapers I have a lot of different brands of cloth diapers in my stash. I have specific cloth diapers for day time, nap time, and night time. I also have specific colors for when my football team plays, and certain holidays. I can say I prefer cloth diapers that are made of natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, or bamboo. 😉

3. It’s the PTA Bakesale: homemade, store bought, or NOPE? 

I am not quite there yet, but I am more inclined to lean towards NOPE. (This might change depending on how involved my children want me to be.) Right now I would rather just donate money then bake something. With food allergies I would not want to leave anyone out or accidentally make something that someone was allergic too. If they wanted me to sell cloth diapers door to door to help raise money I would probably do that in a heart beat. Hahaha! 

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Rachel is super smart and very generous with her knowledge. Pop on over to Pretty in Baby Food and soak up her wisdom.

We Need to Talk About this 20K.

Twenty thousand dollars is a lot of money.

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Do you know what you can buy for $20,000?

A Volkswagon Beetle.

A Mediterranean Cruise for four.

Cartier diamond earrings.

Vespas for all four of the adults in my family.

An entire kitchen remodel.

A two bedroom house, if this Zillow listing is to be believed

I have never claimed to be a budget shopper, and I sometimes often buy completely unnecessary things for Babystar. But, like, she doesn’t have a PONY or two story playhouse or anything. I freaked out yesterday when the one changed to a two. But Babystar still brings me a million times more joy than everything on that list. Well, except maybe the Vespas.

YOU GUYS HOLY CRAP BABY COSTS A LOT OF MONEY!!

RAISING BABYSTAR: $20,336.21

 

 

Balloon Life.

Toddlers like balloons.

Toddlers love balloons.

Toddlers are obsessed with balloons.

I know, I know, I shouldn’t generalize. MY TODDLERMONSTER CAN NOT GET ENOUGH BALLOONS in her life. She’s living that balloon life.

This Peanuts balloons has been around longer than the actual Peanuts comic strip. I think we brought it home in late January. I will miss this one when it’s gone. $6.99.

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This lucky little guy moved in at the beginning of the month, but he’s still hanging around looking shiny. $3.99.

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And these superstars were given to Babystar when we left the Children’s Museum last week, or the week before, they are all running together. We drove them ninety miles home because we love that little ToddlerMonster.

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They hang out near the sky because they are stars, duh. Also because one of the strings is only about four centimeters long.

Does anyone else have a balloon-obsessed toddler?

RAISING BABYSTAR: $15,665.97