Friday, December 19, 2014

Ornaments On Our Tree

When I moved in with DLW four years ago, I got a little excited about decorating for Christmas. It was our first Christmas together and we had a tiny little artificial tree. This year we upgraded to a 6ft tree and added even more ornaments to our collection. These are a few of my favorites!

We have a silver ornament with the year for every Christmas we have spent together. I can't believe we already have five!
This cute little knit owl is from the first Kappa Kappa Gamma ornament exchange I attended in Richmond. I wasn't very active in my sorority in college but enjoyed this annual alumni event.
My grandma Susie found this fancy Army ornament for DLW a couple years ago.
A little Layla in a Ducks Unlimited bag. I wish she was this wee tiny!
Did you know George W. Bush has taken up painting in retirement? He painted this cardinal for last year's George W. Bush Presidential Center ornament. We are big G.W. fans in this house.
Personalized dog bones for Layla & Sadie from Stephanie.
I couldn't find a Baby's First Christmas ornament that I loved so I made my own on TinyPrints.
  • Do you have a favorite ornament on your tree?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I'd Swipe Right

I love my readers. Especially when they let me know my images are being stolen and used in undesirable ways. Again.

A new reader sent me an email yesterday with a screen shot from her Tinder account. If you're not familiar with Tinder, it is a "dating" app commonly used for hooking up. The app locates other Tinder users close to your location, it displays their picture and you "swipe right" if you're interested, left if you're not.

Someone in Raleigh, North Carolina is using DLW's picture as their Tinder profile picture.

I know I have a hot husband and I'd swipe right for him but this is bizarre. What happens when this guy shows up on a date? I'm sure the Tinder ladies of Raleigh are sorely disappointed with "Tyler" shows up and he looks nothing like DLW!

My awesome reader "matched" with the faux-DLW and is able to chat with him via Tinder. She said she would call him out on stealing the picture. She also said the only other picture in his profile is shirtless underwear picture with the head cropped off (definitely NOT DLW). Obviously this "Tyler" character is using other pictures to try and get a date.

I have sent an email to Tinder asking them to take the profile down or remove the picture. Their FAQ and Safety pages state that they take fraudulent profiles seriously to protect their users. Hopefully they will be able to help and get DLW's pretty face off Tinder.

And if you're thinking "maybe DLW is really on Tinder," you are a crazy person. 1) We are very happily married, 2) Tinder uses location services on your phone to determine your location- we live in Colorado, 3) DLW hates technology.

After this I am once again re-thinking this whole blogging thing. I love this space to share my life with you all but I also have to protect my family. I took that picture on Instagram last Christmas and I'm sure it is somewhere on the blog. It almost feel like identity theft; there is someone using DLW's face and misrepresenting his personality and character. As of now, you cannot right-click to save images from my blog but that only protects me from so much. I have thought about adding a watermark to my pictures but that leaves the pictures I've posted in the past unprotected. I am looking for a watermark plugin that will automatically protect my images. It's frustrating and sad and also a little scary.

We are doing our best to laugh it off and take it as a compliment. DLW is a good looking guy and I'd bet "Tyler" has gotten quite a few right swipes from this picture.


You Have a Baby... In a Car

Remember when we drove across the country last Christmas and we swore we'd never do it again? Yeah, me too.

The Whitt family is once again embarking on a cross-country Christmas road trip. DLW, Collins, Layla, Sadie, and I will be packed tight in the car and hitting the road to North Carolina this week. We will take three days to get to NC, spend a few days with DLW's family before driving down to Florida. We get to spend a week in FL before we are back on the road and heading home to Colorado.That is nearly 4,000 miles in the car with a baby.

Some people have suggested we leave at bedtime to help the baby sleep in the car but DLW and I are horrific night drivers. We plan to drive only 7-8 hours per day to allow time for longer stops and meals.

I don't know if you know this but babies come with A LOT of stuff. Collins has multiple bags packed and ready to go on her first ever road trip. I have tried to think of everything she might possibly need but I'm sure there is something I'm missing. This is her packing list for just the trip, this does not include her clothes for when we arrive.
Snap jammies- to wear all day in the car; snaps make for quick diaper checks
Carseat toys- we got a new one to give her when we leave
Portable DVD player- we snagged a set of 26 Baby Einstein DVDs on eBay. 
Diapers & wipes- I packed a diaper caddy for the car so we don't have to dig through the diaper bag every time.
Changing pad- we are bringing the pad from her nursery to use in the car. I won't go near a public restroom changing table.
Bulb syringe- for stuffy noses
Boogie Wipes
Blankets- in a variety of weights
Burp cloths
Bibs- she is a drolly mess these days
Infantino baby carrier- we don't have room for a stroller so this will be our main way of baby carrying until we get to Florida where we have a stroller waiting.
Solly Baby Wrap
Infant Tylenol
Plastic bags- for dirty clothes or diapers on the go
Emergency blow-out onesie
Rock N' Play sleeper- for the hotel at night
Baby bath tub- we are staying in hotels for 7 nights and need a way to still give her a bath
Baby toiletries

I told you, A LOT of stuff! Am I missing anything?! Time to go finish packing! Wish us luck!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Safe Winter Sleep with HALO SleepSack {Giveaway}

Disclaimer: I received this product for free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

The biggest safety concern with newborns is safe sleep. New parents are told over and over to put their baby to sleep on its back. Got it. Do not put anything else in their crib. Got it. Do not use blankets. Got it. Wait, what? How do I keep my baby warm?!

Colorado is cold. Like really cold. Even with the heat on, our upstairs bedrooms can be chilly at night. When the temperature dropped this fall, I wasn't sure how to keep Collins warm enough at night. We had been using a SleepSack since she was born and were happy to find a micro-fleece SleepSack for winter sleep.

"HALO SleepSacks are used by over 1,250 hospitals to promote safe sleep, and by millions of parents nationwide to help babies sleep safely from the start. In addition to sleeping more safely, HALO SleepSack products help babies sleep better, too. It's a warm, cuddly blanket they can't kick off, ensuring your little one sleeps soundly throughout the night. HALO SleepSacks have become a bedtime routine essential for many parents and their children."

I can sleep soundly at night knowing Collins is safe in her HALO SleepSack. She can't lift it over her face, put it in her mouth, or kick it off in her sleep. The micro-fleece is warm enough to wear inside the house but not so heavy that she overheats. At 12 lbs, Collins wears a small SleepSack that fits her head and arms safely. I can even get her all zipped and snug without waking her up! The inverted zipper is great for keeping her warm during mid-night diaper changes; however, Collins ALWAYS pees when I keep her in the SleepSack while changing her. ALWAYS. I've found it's best to take her all the way out to avoid even more laundry.
"HALO Innovations is dedicated to putting the health, safety and well-being of babies first. In fact, over 1,200 hospitals use our HALO® SleepSack® wearable blankets through the HALO Safer Way to Sleep Initiative. This summer they launched their new bassinet, the HALO™ Bassinest™ Swivel Sleeper, furthering our commitment to helping babies sleep safely."

The micro-fleece is soft, durable and super cute. I love all of the patterns available for girls, boys, and gender neutral. We chose the Turtle wearable blanket that is available on Amazon along with a variety of patterns and colors.
Collins loves her HALO SleepSack so much that she wants to share one with you! One lucky Mal Smiles reader will win a micro-fleece SleepSack! Be sure to check out HALO SleepSacks on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter!
No purchase necessary. The giveaway will remain open until Monday, December 22nd at Midnight.
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