Free Christian Nursery Printable Artwork!

When I was making the wall art display for our baby E’s nursery, I designed some religious themed artwork to frame and hang on his wall. I included the two Bible passages that inspired me the most during my pregnancy as well as a very inspirational quote from one of our favorite saints, St. Francis of Assisi. You can see how I integrated them into the design of his room here. I wanted to share them with all of you in case anyone else finds inspiration from these quotes as well! Click on the images below to be brought to a printable pdf version of each image. If you decide to use these, feel free to show me pictures of how you used them in your home!

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francis psalm139

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What’s In My Bag Part 2: My Diaper Bag

I posted part 1 yesterday (here), with what I keep in my purse. Today I am showing what I keep in my diaper bag, and how I keep it all organized. When we bought all of the stuff we needed for the new baby, things like crib sheets and other items came i these thick plastic pouches with snap closures. I kept all of them figuring I would find a good way to reuse them. Once I started putting everything together in my diaper bag, I realized those clear plastic pouches would work great for keeping the diaper bag organized. I use them to keep together the components for our cloth hybrid diapering system. I also have another pouch for a change of clothes for the baby and some extra little accessories.

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1. The changing pad that came with the diaper bag.
2. Diaper changing wipes.
3. Peepee Teepee.
4. Gdiaper travel dirty diaper bag.

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5. Biodegradable inserts for hybrid diapers.
6. Extra cloth diaper shells and snap in liners.
7. Extra outfit and accessories for baby.

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8. A great Burt’s Bees travel set that a friend gave us as a gift. The little bag contains lotion, diaper cream, baby wash & dusting powder.
9. An extra set of disposable breast pads. I normally use my organic cotton washable ones, and carry an extra set in with the baby clothes, but these are an extra backup in case I forget to replenish the cotton ones in the diaper bag.
10. Nursing nipple cream. Not my favorite cream, but I keep the one I use more on my nightstand. This one is okay and good in a pinch.
11. Organic cotton nursing cover.
12. Pacifier wipes.

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13. I always try to bring my stainless steel water bottle with me everywhere I go. If I go somewhere and forget my water bottle, I get very thirsty very quickly because the little guy nurses so much. Just in case I forget my favorite water bottle, I have this folding water bottle tucked into the diaper bag that can be filled up anywhere.
14. Small nose suction bulb that opens up for cleaning.
15. Dye-free infant acetaminophen.
16. Gripe water.
17. Bottle of ibiprofin for me in case my pelvic bone pain flares up while we are out somewhere.

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18. A couple of reusable shopping bags. I usually toss one in my purse, but I always try to keep extras in the diaper bag.
19. Small stroller hook. The larger one is clipped to the storage compartment on the stroller, but I like to keep this one in the diaper bag in case I need it.
20. Organic cotton swaddle blanket.

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A closer look at the change of clothes and accessories that I keep on hand for the little guy. Everything is organic cotton. A onesie, footed pants, a hat, socks, little mittens, and an extra set of breast pads for me.

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Everything fits in nicely, even leaving extra room in case I want to toss in the Moby Wrap.

Experienced moms: how did I do? Anything I am missing, or am I pretty well-prepared for anything? So far I feel like I have everything I could possibly need for now.

What’s In My Bag Part 1: My Purse

Before our baby was born, I figured that I wouldn’t really need to use a purse anymore, and would just make the diaper bag my go-to bag. After a few trips out running errands, I quickly realized that was not the ideal setup to keep me organized. For quick trips into a store, or somewhere like church, a big diaper bag is just too much to carry in and really not necessary. Plus, there are a few stores that we frequent that have baby changing areas (Nordstrom, Buy Buy Baby, etc.), but most places we go do not have a place to change a baby’s diaper, leaving me to do diaper changes in the car anyway. Plus, when the diaper bag is down in the storage compartment of our stroller, it is a little frustrating and cumbersome to get at anything. When you are trying to quickly get out a burp cloth, pacifier, or wallet, it is just way too much hassle.

To solve my dilemma, we found a purse that matches my diaper bag, and can be worn over the shoulder or cross-body. I wanted something easy to clean, ample room to hold a variety of things without being too big, and be hands-free. I absolutely love my purse and the matching diaper bag, both from Marc by Marc Jacobs. I try to keep my stuff pretty well organized so everything is easy to find. This is my purse organization system. The only part I really want to improve is the loose pile of coupons, mostly for baby stores. I know I bring a lot of things, but I love being prepared for just about anything! Part 2, what’s in my diaper bag will be coming tomorrow.
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1. Organic cotton Winnie the Pooh stroller toy, to keep baby E happy and distracted in a pinch.
2. An individually wrapped cleansing cloth in case of a big cleanup emergency (this one was saved from Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill).
3. Burt’s Bees organic cotton burp cloth.
4. Pacifier, pacifier clip and holder.
5. Hand sanitizer.

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6. Mini manicure set.
7. Pack of tissues. I used to have a Shemergency kit, but somehow seemed to have lost it when we moved. I may order some refills from some of the items, but for now this is all that remains.
8. Mini measuring tape, perfect for planning purchases for the house and organizing.
9. Mirror.
10. Face blotting papers.

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11. Band-aid dispenser.
12. Forehead fever scan. Was part of a great baby care package from my husband’s work.
13. Alcohol swabs.
14. Folding scissors.
15. Mini Swiss Army knife.
16. Cough drops.
17. Benadryl in case I have a food allergy emergency.
18. Dental floss.
19. Burt’s Bees Hand Salve.
20. Safety pis.
21. Bobby pins & hair ties.
22. Double stick fashion tape.

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23. Wallet.
24. Keys with a tiny lip gloss.
25. Tiny hair brush.
26. Small lint roller.
27. Mascara.
28. Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer.
29. Burt’s Bees lotion.
30. Trial sized moisturizer with SPF since my husband usually forgets to wear sunscreen.
31. Gum.

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32. Rosary prayer booklet.
33. Tiny rosary in little egg container.
34. “Cross in my pocket.” Was my grandma’s.
35. Small notebook and pen.
36. Cell phone.
37. Granola bar for my husband. I usually keep another one for myself as well, but we need to restock my dairy-free/soy-free/egg-free/gluten-free bars.

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A closer view of my tiny rosary and the “cross in my pocket.”

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Everything fits in here pretty well! Most of the tiny items go together in a small zippered pouch. I keep the frequently used small items (like mascara and lip shimmer) in the zippered purse pocket. There is a pouch for my phone and one for my keys as well.

See part 2 with my diaper bag here.

Life Is Not Always Picture Perfect!

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Okay, I am just going to say it. It is physically impossible for anyone to be able to perfectly keep up with everything all the time. In today’s Pinterest/blog filled society, we start to get the impression that in order to be a good mother and wife, that we need to have a perfectly spotlessly clean and organized home at all times. Some bloggers give the impression that every corner of their house is always immaculate and picture ready. I generally try to keep things pretty neat and clean, but sometimes that is just not always possible. Especially with a new baby around, I have quickly learned that this is definitely not always possible. Some days, other things just have to take higher priority than a spotless kitchen and all of the laundry neatly folded and put away. I realized that this is nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to beat myself up about.

Our house was clean on Saturday. We had visitors who could attest to that. I gave myself a deadline to have all of our baby’s newborn photos that I took edited and processed. I wanted to make sure I had them all processed and blogged by the time I planned to mail out his birth announcements and baptism invitations (I included a link to our photography blog on his birth announcements). Since the deadline I set for myself was the end of the day on Monday, I treated that deadline just as I would treat any deadline that I give myself when working on photos for a client. Things that are urgent and MUST be done take top priority: feeding and taking care of the baby and the pets, and making sure we have clean diapers and towels.

I wasn’t able to quite finish everything up by Monday night, but came pretty close. On Tuesday morning, we went into the pediatrician for his two month appointment. Just like after his one month appointment, he cried pretty much nonstop the entire day after getting his vaccinations. The only thing that soothes him when he gets that upset is putting him in the Moby wrap for some skin-to-skin time all day.

Comforting our baby definitely takes priority over putting away laundry and scrubbing dishes. He is still pretty fussy today, and has a huge welt and rash all over one of his legs where the vaccine was injected. I will get to the house soon enough, but for the moment, soothing our little boy is my top priority. Once he is feeling a little better, I will tackle this to-do list:

1. Put away all the clean laundry.
2. Put away the clean dishes.
3. Clean the dirty dishes that are piling up from the past few days.
4. Sterilize all the breastmilk pumping parts and bottles.
5. Fold the sheets that were stuffed into the linen closet haphazardly.
6. Straighten up the living room and bedrooms since I have been skipping my daily pickup routine.
7. Get back on track with my weekly cleaning routine: dusting, sweeping, mopping, etc.
8. Wash a load or two of laundry.
9. Polish the copper bottoms of my pots and pans.
10. Get some kind of new organization system going for the paperwork explosion in the office.

I am very happy that I was able to get the birth announcements and baptism invitations put in the mail. 🙂 How bad do you let your house get when things get busy?

I Love Finishing Big Projects!

In our downtime during E’s first month of life, I focused on trying to get all of the photoshoots I had planned executed. This was not an easy task given my difficult post-partum recovery from the Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction symptoms. During my free time in his second month, I worked hard trying to get all of the pictures from his first month edited and processed. It was a LOT of pictures, and it took me a long time to go through them all (multiple memory cards full!). I am so happy to say that I just finished blogging the rest of the pictures from his first month! Time to do a two month photoshoot now! 🙂 Be sure to check them out at www.apluscphotography.com/blog.

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Baby E 6 Week Update

Our baby boy “E”, has been much happier the past few days. Every day it seems like he is feeling a little better without the dairy/soy in my diet and therefore in his. He still has some pretty fussy periods at night, but he has been so much happier overall.

He is growing up so quickly! He outgrew the size “tiny” cloth diapers this week and moved up to size small. Not that he was really ever “tiny” to begin with (he was over 9 pounds at birth!), but it still made me a little sad. My little guy is getting so big so quickly! My husband and I are in love with this little outfit shown below. He looks like such a strong little guy in it. 🙂

Another thing of note this week is that he outsmarted the Velcro close swaddle blankets. I could tell even before he was born that he was not going to like to be swaddled because he was constantly pushing out against my uterus, trying to find more room. Swaddling him with blankets only worked for the first couple of days. By about the third day in the hospital, he figured out how to get out of those in no time. We started putting him in the Velcro close swaddle blankets for bed time, and he never seemed to like them. One morning this week, we looked over to see him with his arms and legs all out of the swaddle, with just the Velcro part left around his waist. We have since given up on trying to swaddle him at bed time, and let him wear big boy footie pajamas to bed now. 🙂

Other than us and my parents, E has not met too many people yet except for when we have gone to all of our doctors’ appointments. Apparently he is already working on his flirting skills with the ladies and has taken a liking to nurses. He charms all of the nurses at all of our appointments. At one of our appointments this week, we walked past two nurses and they made a “what a cute baby!” comment. He heard them say that, turned his head toward them and gave them a big huge smile. What a little charmer! 🙂

All of our furry kids love E a lot, but his “sister” (seen below) has a special devotion to E. She seems to think of him as her own baby and rarely leaves his side. If he is napping and starts to wake up, she runs to come and get me. It is so cute how she is always watching out for him!

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This last one was his very upset face after our dogs chased away the birds E was watching in our back yard. 🙂

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