What You Need The First 6 Months-

I was asked the other day about things I really needed to get for Grace and about cost etc. I started just blabbing off things and then when I really started to think about it the list grows and grows! They are little, but they sure do need a lot of "stuff". I began looking at my "must haves" list and then began thinking of all the items that we were either given or bought before and afterGrace was born. 

If you are thinking about having a baby soon and want to know things in my opinion that you need here it is: (I also am going to let you know how and where my items came from. Now I am only a new mom and with only one child so please I am not a professional and in no particular order.)

- Crib- Our crib was gifted to us by the McKenzie family. I was able to pick it out though. I began looking for cribs almost immediately after I found out I was pregnant. There is an awesome baby furniture store in Columbia and Greenville, Baby Furniture Plus. They have a scratch and dent area, which was where I was looking. I went there I don't know how many times always ending up looking at the same crib. Of course it was way too expensive! Then one day I went there and it was marked down and I knew it was meant to be our little one's crib! It does have quite a few dents and scratches, but it is perfect to me!




-Crib Mattress- When you start looking for crib mattresses you will be blown away with how expensive they can be! We were so fortunate to be given one that some friends of ours did not need anymore and it works prefect!


-Crib Sheets- There are different kinds of sheets out there, but I do not really have a preference. As long as it fits snuggly I am happy. I bought all of mine from a consignment sale and yard sales.


- Changing Table- Now i know some people say you can change them anywhere, but this is a must to me! I change her every time here and it is nice to have all of here things (diapers, wipes, butt cream, etc) right where I need them. We were gifted her changing table and dresser from the Cross family. I found then on craigslist and knew they were perfect! My wonderful husband sanded, painted, and added more my cute pink knobs for me that I found on amazon.




-Changing table pad- I think this is pretty self explanatory. You have to have a pad to change them on. I went around before Grace was born and priced things like this at: Target, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby and Babies R Us to see which store would be cheaper. Walmart won this one. As for the cover on the pad, I have two. One I found at a yard sale and one I bought at Babies R Us. I also put a pad down on top of the cover because when your little one has an accident on you it is nice just to take the pad off instead of the cover too. One of my sister in laws and my mom gave me these pads because they knew how much they used them.

-Instant Hand Sanitizer- I know this should be a given, but I am trying to list everything and it is so much more convenient to wash your hands this way. Below is the kind I personally prefer. I buy mine from Babies R Us because they have had the cheapest price.



- Pack N Play with Bassinet- Originally I wanted a pretty wooden bassinet to put in our bedroom until she was big enough to sleep in her crib, but we never found one/looked hard enough. I am actually glad now because we found a bassinet with a pack n play. The bassinet attached to the pack n play came in handy because it was at an angle which helped a lot with her reflux and we could take it with us when we went to Grandmas. You have a have a pack n play if you are planning on doing any traveling. We bought ours from Target on a big sale and love it!



- Diaper Genie- I know this is a debatable item, but I have LOVED having it. When you smell some of those diapers I am so glad I do not have to take it anywhere other then throw it away right next to her changing table. I priced this item, and at the time it was cheaper at target. I did read a lot of review on different brands and this is the brand that came out on top. (Don't forget the liners)



-Car Seat- I did a lot of research on a car seat for Grace. I wanted it to be gender neutral, very light, and most of all safe. I ended up picking out a Graco brand car seat and was blessed to be given it by our very good friends! 


-Pacifiers- This is a must, but I think this completely depends on the child and what brand they prefer. You will probably have to buy several brands or borrow and see which one they prefer. And by the way you definitely need more than two, which is how many I had when Grace came. I have had to learn this the hard way!


-Diaper Bag- For obvious reasons you need one of these. I found my super cute bag at a yard sale for a dollar!! (unused and in the bag) Score!! Also, it matches the car seat, and you know that was on purpose.

-Butt Cream- Whichever brand you use, you have to have some kind of cream. I have tried several different brands and prefer Desitin. I buy this whenever it goes on sale anywhere.

- Shampoo & Lotion- This is another preference item. I was fortunate to be given a couple bottles for shower gifts and have not had to buy any yet. We were given Aveeno brand and it works great.

-Infant Bath Tub- A wonderful and gracious friend gave us a fisher price infant bath tub that both of her girls used. It was perfect for us, and of course the best part was it was FREE! Now that she doesn't fit in it any longer we use a foam pad that one of my friends suggested and got for us and love it! The foam pad is very portable if you are traveling a lot too.

-Baby Towels- When your little one comes out of the tub it sure is nice to have warm towel just for them. We were given some towels by one of our friends and my mom. You only need a few because you do laundry often enough to keep using them. 

-Wash Clothes- We have a lot of wash clothes because you can also use them as cloth wipes. Just get the cheapest ones you can get. I do not feel there really are too many differences between brands and I have a lot of different brands.

-Blankets- We were given almost all of Grace's very precious blankets and we are so grateful! We really have the sweetest blankets to wrap her up. You will go through blankets too because they spit up all over them especially when they are little. 



-Diapers & Wipes- Everyone was telling me to buy diapers ahead, so I did. Unfortunately, Grace became allergic to Huggies. Pampers Sensitive worked for us and that is the only kind I buy now. I do buy some wipes, but I mostly use cloth wipes. I buy these from wherever they are the cheapest, which varies from week to week. 

- Alcohol and Q-tips- These are for their little soon to be belly button. 

-Burp Clothes- I was given several different brands/kinds of burp cloths. My favortie ones are just the kind my mom got me because she said that just the cloth diaper kind were her favorite and i must agree with her.

-Swaddle Blankets- Michael was the best swaddler! He would swaddle her for me every night. We used several different brands of swaddlers and really loved the ones from the hosptal a lot, but as they grow these get small and you must move on. 


-Breast Pump-  Yall are not going to like me when I tell you where I got my breast pump. My wonderful sister in law, Jessica, is letting me borrow her pump. It is the top of the line double pump too! Along with the pump the more accessories (bottles, adaptors, and parts) you have the more helpful it is.

- Bottles- This is an item I suggest you do research on and find the brand you want. I decided to use Dr. Browns glass bottles. I was fortunate enough to receive these as a shower gift, but you can find them at Target. 

-Milk Storage Bags- If you are planning on breast feeding, you must have some way to freeze the milk. This stuff is like liquid gold and would NEVER want to waste any! I originally began using Lansinoh storage bags, but since then was advised to try Nuk storage bags and really like them a lot better. I looked at Walmart, CVS, and Target and found them cheapest at Target. 

- Nursing Bras- This is where you do not want to go cheap! You will be wearing them twenty four hours a day and you want them to be supportive and comfortable. 

-Humidifier- This is definitely a "must have". It helps your little one breath so much better and the noise is also helpful. I priced around and found her first humidifier from Target, but unfortunately this one has already broken. I am on the hunt now for another one... sadly, these are NOT cheap. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

-Bouncer Chair- We were fortunate to be given a bouncy seat by Grace's Aunt and Uncle. This is the only way I can take a shower and know she is safe and be able to see her. Now if you want to buy a swing instead I do not think you need a bouncy chair too, but they say every child is different. 


-Bibs- Since Grace is only eating cereal once a day we do not use too many bibs, but you have to have them! We were given a lot of bibs and so far just the basic ones are working out well, however I know that might change when we begin expanding our range of foods.


-Fleece Footed PJs- I think this might be a preferece thing, but I love knowing that Grace is nice and warm at night. Now that she is no longer swaddled and I do not really like putting blankets on her, I like the PJs being as warm as possible. We were given a lot of these by family. Even at Christmas I asked for warm footed pjs for Grace.


 -Monitor- I am actually borrowing this from family and they are wonderful! We went back and forth on what kind of monitors to get. There are so many fancy ones out there now, that even have video on them. We decided that we already put her in God's hands and that we did not need to see her every second. This is much better for my sanity.

-Toys/ BooksWe have been fortunate to have been given a lot of cute toys and books for her to grab and chew.  These are a must once she starts discovering her hands and able to grab things.



-Cereal- I kind of just picked a brand and stuck with it. I just buy mine from Publix, where I usually get my groceries.

-Spoons- I asked around when it came time to feed Grace cereal and everyone just kind of gave different answers on which spoon was best. Then I found a buy one get one free coupon for spoons and those were the spoons. (I will do anything for a good deal)


-Socks- You do not want your little ones toes getting cold! I scored big when I found a gallon bag full of cute socks (from Gap!) at a yard sale for $2.oo. She is just now beginning to grow out of some of these socks, and thankfully she was given some more at Christmas. (and you notice that I did not list shoes, because you don't need them! They don't walk!)



-Hangers- Of course when you have all those sweet little clothes you want some hangers to put them up for display. I bought mine form target because they had cute pink ones.

- Fan- We have a pretty loud fan in Grace's room that muffles the sound of the house. I believe this helps her sleep a lot. She knows when the fan goes on it is time to sleep. We already had an inexpensive fan and that we have been using. This also is a lot more inexpensive than a sound machine.


-Thermometer- When your little one is crying and you have no idea why? It definitely eases your mind when you can check their temperature. I bought a pretty inexpensive one from target, but they do have some pretty cool ones out there!


-Dreft Detergent- Unfortunately this stuff is expensive, but you have to have it. You might try another kind, but you have to have some kind of detergent to wash their sweet little outfits. 

- Clothes- Last but not least you do need clothes. I was very fortunate to be given most of Grace's clothes. All the other ones I found at yard sales. The good thing about baby clothes is they only wear them a couple times and they are very easy to throw in the washing machine and clean. 





I hope you have found this helpful. I tried to list absolutely everything I have used and needed for the first six months. I also tried to help you out with some money saving ideas by not spending so many of those much needed pennies! If there is anything I need to add to the list, let me know. 

Post Baby Weight


I am sad to admit that I was very nervous about being able to lose weight postpregnancy. Mainly because I love running and the heavier you are the harder it is to run that way I want to. Running is "my time", my escape, my stress reliever and something that just makes me happy! 

Thankfully I have been able to lose all the weight I gained during pregnancy! (All 49 pounds!!!)

This is how I did it:
- Stopped eating sugar. Meaning I still eat things that have sugar in them, like yogurt and such, but no desserts. (ice cream)
- No sugary drinks and lots and lots of water! Which if you are breastfeeding I don't know how you can make it if you are not constantly drinking water!
- Eat when I am hungry. I tried to eat when my body needed it and not just because it was time to eat. Which ended up meaning that I eat several meals a day.
- Breast Feed.They say this takes off pounds and I believe it does, along with all the added benefits to you and your baby!



- Exercise at least four days a week. Since Grace broke my tailbone during delivery I was unable to not only exercise, but move for weeks! When I was able to begin walking I did. I started walking as much as I could. Eventually I was walking an hour with pushing a stroller. Our neighborhood is pretty hilly too so  it does make it a lot more challenging. When it began getting too cold to take my little one out or it was raining I would do an exercise video. Now if you are wondering which video I have been using... well you are going to laugh. You see my mom used to do a video (and I mean VHS) when I was growing up and I have been borrowing it from her. I really do love it! They sing praise songs, I have it memorized, it is split into three twenty minute sections, so I can workout for an hour or less depending on Grace, and I do not have to go and try to find another one that works. The video is Stormie Omartian Exercise for Life. I am sure there are other great ones out there, but this one did it for me! I really get at it too, I don't just go through the motions. If you want to lose weight you have to sweat!





This is Grace's face when she watches her momma do such funny exercise moves.

- Play with your baby. We will dance around the house, play on the floor, tummy time pushups.

I Hope this encourages some new moms. It can be done! 

Menu 2


It is another week and time again for me to head to the grocery store. (Secretly I love the grocery store. I love to shop and BUY, which I do not do often) This week's menu has a good mix of chicken, beef and pork. In the "list" I list everything you will need for the week, but I am sure you can find some of these things in your pantry or freezer. 

Day 1:
Spaghetti and garlic bread
Day 2:
Chicken Enchiladas and chips
Day 3:
Salisbury Steak, green beans and baked potatoes 
Day 4:
Roast and Bread
Day 5: 
Chicken and Broccoli
Day 6:
Pork Tenderloin and Broccoli & Cheese Casserole


List:
Produce-
3 Onions
Potatoes
Carrots
Celery
Meat-
2 1/2 lb chicken breasts
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
Roast
pork tenderloin (I buy the kind already seasoned)
Staples-
Breadcrumbs
Ketchup
Dry mustard
Worcestershire sauce
Beef bullion cubes
Butter
Olive oil
Cornstarch
Pantry-
Spaghetti noodles
Spaghetti sauce
1 dozen tortillas
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can green chili
Chicken broth
1 can chili beans
Tortilla chips
Beef broth
2 cans Green beans
1 can cream of cheddar soup
Rice
Cheese whiz
Fridge/Frozen-
Garlic bread
Mexican cheese
Bread to eat with roast
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
2 bags Frozen broccoli



Salisbury Steak:
Meat Mixture:
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 cube beef bouillon, crumbled
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Gravy:
1 whole onion, halved and thinly sliced (or diced if you prefer)
2 cups beef broth, more if needed for thinning
1 tablespoon ketchup
4 dashes Worcestershire
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper
Directions:
For the meat mixture: Combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, ketchup, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon and some salt and pepper. Knead until all combined. Form into 4 to 6 oval patties, and then make lines across the patties to give them a "steak" appearance.
Fry the patties in a skillet with the butter and oil over medium-high heat on both sides until no longer pink in the middle. Remove from the skillet and pour off any excess grease.
For the gravy: Reduce the heat to medium and add in the sliced onions. Stir and cook until golden brown and somewhat soft, for several minutes. Add the beef stock, ketchup, seasoning sauce, if using, and the Worcestershire. Then combine the cornstarch with a little beef broth and add to the sauce if using. Stir and cook to reduce.
Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and more broth if needed for thinning. Then return the patties to the gravy. Spoon the gravy over the top and let them simmer and heat back up for a couple of minutes.
This recipe and picture are taken from Pioneer Woman. (every recipe I have tried of hers has been very good! Highly suggest checking out her blog)



Creamy Crock-pot Chicken and Broccoli Over Rice
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 10oz can cream of chicken soup
1 10 oz can cheddar soup
1 14 oz can chicken broth
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic salt seasoning
1 cup sour cream
6 cups broccoli florets, just fork tender (I cooked it in boiling water for 3-4 minutes)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Directions:
Place soups, chicken broth, salt, and garlic seasoning into a crock-pot over low heat. Whisk until smooth. Place chicken in, pressing to the bottom. Cover lid and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours. When chicken is cooked, use 2 forks to shred into bite size pieces. Stir in sour cream and broccoli. Serve over steamed rice and sprinkle with cheese.  4-6 servings


Broccoli Casserole
2 cups cooked rice
1 pk of broccoli thawed
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 8 oz can of cheese whiz
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together and put in a baking pan. Bake 350 for 30-45 minutes



Chicken Enchiladas
2 cans chicken
Tortillas
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1 can green chili
1 chopped onion sautéed in butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can chili beans
1 cup Mexican cheese
Directions:
Mix all ingredients together except tortillas. Then put mixture into tortillas. Reserve some mixture to put on top of tortillas while baking. Add more cheese to top and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.
This is one of my Momma's originals, that I grew up eating and will always love!

Roast
Oven Roast (whatever size you desire for your family)
carrots
onion
green beans (or if you have any leftover veggies from the week)
potatoes
salt 
pepper
water
oil
seasonings (I like to use italian dressing)
Directions:
Throw all your ingredients in the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hrs.



Pork Tenderloin - I buy the kind already seasoned and wrap in foil and add olive oil. Place in a baking dish and cook till done.


I hope this will help you with your menu for the week or just getting some new recipes.

Enjoy!
Hi! I'm Katie. Wife to Michael. Mom to Grace, David Michael & Emma. Christ Follower. Runner. Stay at home mommy.
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