April Book Pick + Discussion | A Virtual Book Club

you guys, i am having a little too much fun with our virtual book club…i love that we are all doing something for ourselves, allowing a little slow down in our lives to read and regroup.  it also feels really good to replace the phone in my hand with a book.  i love setting reading goals for myself and, a few years ago, read 100 books as my new year resolution.

this post contains some affiliate links, which means i get a commission for items purchased through the link.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so i can continue inspiring you with our everyday.

with 2 babies at home, 100 books isn’t very realistic for me…but i gave myself a goal of 25 this year.  to keep track, i am using the goodreads app that allows me to set a 2018 reading goal and it keeps track of my books.  i love that syncs with my kindle (which my hubby bought me for nightly reading during breastfeeding…amazing idea!), and automatically updates my books on goodreads for me whenever i start and finish a book on my kindle.  it also reminds me if i am on track to reach my goal by telling me how many books i am ahead or behind.  if you are like me and like to set reading goals for yourself, be sure to join goodreads…it’s so much fun and encouraging!  plus, it gives you great book recommendations to encourage your future reading, based on what books you’ve read in the past.  i loveeeeeeeeeeee it!

April Book Pick + Discussion | A Virtual Book Club

April Book Pick + Discussion | A Virtual Book Club | www.bethadilly.com


1. no stressing out is allowed.  this is supposed to be a fun and relaxing activity for you.  don’t pressure yourself to read fast, set your own pace.  if you want to read the book in one sitting, go for it!  (i am crossing my fingers that we pick books that we won’t want to put down!)  if you want to read a certain number of pages per day, that’s great!  if you want to set a weekly or daily reading goal for yourself, that’s awesome!

2. without spoiling the book for others, feel free to leave comments in the comments section below as you read!  tell us your favorite part, your favorite quote, or maybe how you are feeling about or relating to the book.  use the comment section to tell us what page you are on and to encourage others!

3. be respectful, always.  not everyone is going to love the book, that’s why book clubs are fun!  everyone is different and entitled to their own opinion.  when posting, think about the feelings of others before you write.  simply said, just be kind.  this is supposed to be fun, simple and to encourage us to slow down and relax.


for april, let’s read digging in by loretta nyhan. because it would be impossible to choose one book that everyone hasn’t read, if you’ve already read this please still join in the discussion below without giving away the book!  and join in with us next month when we choose a new book!  bonus points if you recommend books for us to read!


when i read the description, it seemed to describe a book that will show us about new seasons in life and navigating change.  and with spring in the air, i liked that this book was going to be focused around a garden…which could be lovely to read about.  and fingers crossed, maybe a little love and romance?


i encourage you to answer this question right now.  what worked last month and what didn’t work, when it comes to making time to read.  how are you going to make time to read this month?  reading on my kindle while breastfeeding really worked well for me last month so i am going to continue doing that.


to get started, borrow or purchase a copy of digging in and start reading at your own pace.  but before that, introduce yourself below in the comment section and answer these three questions:

  1. do you set reading goals for yourself?  if so, what is your goal?
  2. how do you choose the book you read?
  3. do you prefer paperback or digital?

i’ll go first!  and thanks for joining in!  i am so excited to make more time to read and intentionally make some time to myself.

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Our New Mama and Me Space | Home Office Playroom Inspiration

one of the first things i thought of once my husband announced “it’s a girl!” when our second was born (besides how beautiful she was) was…sisters!  having grown up with two sisters of my own, i was instantly taken back to the days of dolls, barbies and endless hours spent giggling together in our playroom.  so in the weeks since giving birth to our second girl, i have been spending those countless breastfeeding hours shopping and designing a playroom for our two little girls.  while we have a fourth bedroom available for a playroom, we decided to turn my main floor home office into a duo play space for the girls and workspace for me.  i love that this space is right off of our kitchen, giving it easy sight lines when i am making dinner or tidying up after a meal.  many have asked to see our new space, so here is a little dose of home office playroom inspiration.

because this room is right off of the entry to our home, i had one huge goal…to hide most of the toys.  i didn’t want guests entering our home and to be overwhelmed by toys, and honestly…i didn’t want to be overwhelmed with toys on a daily basis.  however, i also wanted the toys to be easily accessible to the girls so that i wasn’t having to constantly help get toys down or out of places.  below you will see how i hid most of the toys and, for the toys that are out, how i organized them in a visually pleasing way.  for the record, i am flipping in love with how this playroom turned out.  and with two babies under two, it is so great to have a space where we can do everything from work, play, diaper change and eat…all within a few steps of one another.

this post contains affiliate links, meaning that i get a commission off of products purchased through the links.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so that i can continue to inspire you with our everyday.

Our New Mama and Me Space | Home Office Playroom Inspiration

Our New Mama and Me Space | Home Office Playroom Inspiration | www.bethadilly.com

if there is one thing that our toddler mastered really early on, it’s independent play.  she has always been really good at independent play and is perfectly content playing on her own, as well as with mama.  and since i know i am going to get asked, yes…she is also really organized.  she likes to take things in and out of baskets and knows where everything belongs.  i know, i know…she spoils me.  she is a mini-me, for sure.  when organizing her toys, i wanted to continue to encourage the idea of sorting and keeping things in their proper place.  and also, having toys disorganized and mixed together just gives me a huge amount of anxiety so it is necessary that we have all the organizational baskets and bins.  i wanted to encourage some sort of organizational harmony in what could easily be a chaotic space of toys.

because i know i am going to get asked about how we encourage clean up and organization with a 2 year old, here is a little snippet.  we have always modeled cleaning up and explaining what we are doing as we clean up, such as “let’s put our blocks in the basket!  let’s put our books on the shelf!  let’s put the dolly on the bench!”  in the early days, it was just a lot of modeling and talking as we did things, but that turned into our toddler now doing it on her own since she saw so much of it.  we have clean up songs and lots of encouragement, and a rule that we clean up after play (because it is so much fun to start another play session in a clean space!).

these days, even at only 2 years old, i feel like all of our toys come with a lot of pieces and parts…making organizational baskets and bins necessary to keep everything sorted.  on this first wall, i wanted to encourage a space where our little girls could easily get to and put away their toys without help.

window panes | purchased at home goods but check out this etsy shop for similar items!  (i love her stuff!)

pink lamp | purchased at target

cube unit | purchased at ikea or similar one can be purchased at target

white rope baskets | purchased on amazon

wooden bins | purchased at target

wooden baby buggy | purchased on amazon, similar one found here

fairy tale blocks | purchased locally, but can be purchased here

train set | can be purchased from crate and barrel

wooden bus | purchased at marshalls, but can be purchased here

knit lamb + knit pink bunny | courtesy of cuddle + kind

Our New Mama and Me Space | Home Office Playroom Inspiration | www.bethadilly.com

we made our 2 year old a play kitchen last year and it is one of her favorite things to play with!  if you want to make one just like ours, check out my tutorial on our rifle paper co inspired play kitchen!  because she spends the most time at it, i wanted it closest to my desk so we could be close to one another while i sneak in a little work and she plays.  part of downsizing my office to be a playroom too included purchasing a new desk that was smaller.  my favorite thing about my new desk is that the side drawers are double the height (while they look like 2 drawers, it’s instead one single drawer on each side) allowing me to store a lot of camera gear, lenses and film inside.  while the longer drawer in the middle is big enough to store my planner, laptop and editing tablet.

i also wanted to have window benches for the girls to sit at, ideally.  we found these benches at ikea and i love that the top opens up, offering additional storage for toys.  i love that they are functional little toy boxes, yet once a pillow and doll are placed on top, they become a visual pleasing piece of furniture for the girls.

computer desk | purchased on wayfair

desk chair | purchased from target

window benches | purchased from ikea

custom ballerina doll on right | courtesy of a princess and a pea

kitchen play food | purchased from crate and barrel

white drapes | purchased at ikea, but can be found here

Our New Mama and Me Space | Home Office Playroom Inspiration | www.bethadilly.com

one of my favorite things about this space is that, while it contains a lot of toys and fun, you aren’t overwhelmed by toyland.  with a little thought and planning, i found a way to hide a lot of the toys, while allowing the space to obviously be a fun place.  it is important that it can also double as my workspace and be easily cleaned up so that i can properly focus too, instead of being swallowed by toys.  it truly is a space for all of us to come together.  that is, us girls.  🙂  okay, okay…we let daddy in too.


Our New Mama and Me Space | Home Office Playroom Inspiration | www.bethadilly.com

one of the main places all of the toys are hidden, yet easily accessible, is in this chest of drawers from ikea that doubles as our changing table/getting ready table.  in order to keep everything organized, i purchased a variety of baskets so each activity could be organized within the drawer.  even at 2 years old, our little one can easily open the bottom two levels of drawers and pick out baskets of toys to bring out.  we use the top set of drawers to store diapers, hair bows, and other non-toy items that we need for the babies.  in order to make this chest of drawers really feminine, i simply swapped out the original hardware and replaced it with glass knobs.

crystal cabinet pulls | purchased locally but similar ones found here

baby brush set | courtesy of natemia baby

gold clock | purchased from target

burts bees changing pad cover | purchased on amazon

owl block set | purchased locally, but can be found here

white baskets | purchased at target

area rug | purchased at target

Our New Mama and Me Space | Home Office Playroom Inspiration | www.bethadilly.com

one of my biggest must haves for this room, of course, was family photos.  the amazing bethanne arthur photographed our family in february and these images are my heart.  not only are photographs important to me for documenting moments, but they are also important because i want the walls of our home to reflect love.  in this beautiful space where my girls will giggle and play, i want them to be surrounded by images that show just how much our family loves one another.  as you are putting together spaces for your children, don’t forget the beautiful impact that family images can have.  it’s a simple touch that simply set a beautiful mood on a space.  plus, photographs are meant to be enjoyed.

large wooden window frame | purchased on etsy

small cotton wreath | purchased at hobby lobby, similar one found here

light pink letter board | purchased on amazon

thanks so much for taking a peek at our new mama and me space.  if you have any questions at all about babies, home decor or the products within this post, please be sure to ask in the comment section below!

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The Birth Story of Our Second Baby Girl

The Birth Story of Our Second Baby Girl

this post contains affiliate links, meaning that i get a commission off of products purchased through the links.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so that i can continue to inspire you with our everyday.

The Birth Story of Our Second Baby Girl | Bethadilly Photography

all our birth photos were taken with my nikon d750 and sigma art 24mm f/1.4 lens.

to learn more about how to photograph your baby’s first year, from the hospital to their first birthday, be sure to check out my ebook The First Twelve.

as the snow falls outside the playroom window this morning, i have one baby sleeping on my chest and another playing quietly at my feet.  everyone seems upset about our march snowfall but i couldn’t feel better about it.  it’s the perfect excuse to not leave the house and just be with my girls.  and while i could settle for a slow day, i can’t help but browse through the photos of our second baby’s birth and feel the urge to write her story.  for the days may be long, but the years are sure short and i want to make sure her story is written down before it dulls in my memory.  so here is her story.

to read more about how to take your own hospital photos, be sure to check out my 5 hacks for taking your own hospital newborn photos.

on the saturday before she was born, contractions started.  having had a c-section with my first and hoping for a VBAC this time around, i was constantly asking my doctor, “but how will i know i am in labor!?  what do contractions feel like?  when will i know to call you!?”  to these questions, they always just smiled and chuckled, saying, “oh, you’ll know!” and gave me a pink sheet of instructions saying this, that and another thing about signs of labor.  and as worried as i was about missing labor signs, i knew on that saturday morning that things were moving towards labor.

but let’s rewind a second.  in all honestly, i was so ready to be done being pregnant.  i nested.  i glowed.  i got my rest.  i packed my hospital bag.  i savored all the belly kicks.  i fully embraced my bump.  but i was ready to be done.  there is something about those final 3-4 weeks of pregnancy that just make you sooooooo over it.  the pregnancy insomnia, the sciatic nerve pain, the waddle, the braxton hicks contractions that started at 17 weeks.  as much as i love, love, love being pregnant…i was ready to be done.  maybe it was because i was carrying around a toddler and a baby bump or maybe it was because i knew the immense feeling of love that would come when meeting my baby.  i was just ready.

i say all this to say…i was totally trying to induce labor.  once i reached 39 weeks the friday before birth, i labeled the weekend, “project induce labor.”  and my hubby was full on board.  we were ready.  the house was spotless.  the baby-sitter was on call for our first born.  our house was fully stocked with groceries.  the hospital bag was perfectly packed.  the mama was tired of being pregnant.  so we did everything, including but not limited to: walking, bouncing on a yoga ball, eating spicy food, etc.  we did everything google said to do to get things going.

so when contractions started on saturday morning, we excitedly starting timing them with the contraction timer and double checking everything around the house that had already been double checked.  this is the part of the story where my darling husband decides to nest.  he runs to the grocery store again, takes his laundry to the dry cleaner, vacuums, etc.  mind you, i am calm as a cucumber…breathing through contractions on the couch, while the baby napped.  i had been nesting for 9 months at this point.  i had re-organized the entire house three times, with a label maker and purchased every organizational basket possible.  so i was perfectly at peace with my nesting and let my husband experience his little jolt of nesting.  it was kind of cute.  and it was exciting!

until, the contractions stopped.  on a dime, after 6 hours of timing them and having them be consistent, they stopped.  for the rest of the day!

ugh, i was so discouraged.  i think i even cried.  i was so emotionally ready at that point and for them to stop just made me frustrated.

so when they started again the following afternoon (sunday), i didn’t really put much hope into it.  i breathed through them, but didn’t get too excited because i didn’t want to be disappointed when they stopped.  i was at peace with the fact that this baby would come when they were ready, so i stopped worrying about wanting labor to start.  we spent the entire sunday as we normally would, with the addition of me now bouncing more on the yoga ball and eating more spicy food.  (because i had to at least try to get this baby to come out)  right before dinner, i had my bloody show and couldn’t help but get so excited.  things were moving and a baby was coming soon!

after dinnertime, i started to have mild contractions again and thought, what the heck…let’s time them.  they kept going throughout the evening and, as we were laying our toddler down to sleep, for some reason i felt the need to hug her a little longer before saying good night.  there was something telling me that this may be my last time hugging her as a mama of one.  that maybe, just maybe, this baby was coming soon.

and i was right.

after laying her down to sleep, we went downstairs and indulged in the most delicious gluten free brownies ever.  we watched a couple shows on tv, timed contractions and at 8:15pm turned in for the night.  (8:15 was my bedtime during pregnancy, religiously).  after getting all situated in bed and reading for a little while, i told my husband that my contractions were still going and…getting stronger.  at that, he recommended that i try to get some sleep.  but around 10:45, i was still awake and getting uncomfortable.  no matter what position i lay in, i wasn’t comfortable enough to get any sleep.  around midnight, i told him that i thought this was the real deal and i was going to hop in the shower.  (i always told him i wanted to be freshly showered, makeup-ed and dressed when heading to the hospital because…pictures).  having been told that real contractions should keep going despite your position, i figured taking a shower would be a good indicator if this was the real deal or not.

and the contractions continued.  by the time i was done showering, they had progressed to the point where i couldn’t walk or talk through them.  it was time to call the doctor.  i was finally experiencing everything on that pink slip of paper.  and after asking me a few questions about my pain and the timing, our doctor recommended that we head in.  i kept telling her i didn’t want to come in if this wasn’t the real deal.  i didn’t want to call the babysitter over only to have to send her home.  to this the doctor said she was pretty sure this was real labor at this point, especially with the mild bleeding occurring.

after showing our sitter around the house and getting the car packed up, we headed to the hospital and arrived around 4:30am.  at this point, i was in pain.  the car ride was miserable, as i felt that my contractions were more manageable if i was standing or walking.  sitting was hard.  i remember having another contraction about 3 minutes away from the hospital and thinking, “thank goodness this will be my last contraction in the car,” as i breathed through it.  once i was up and walking, i felt that they weren’t as awful.

as we got to our triage room and the nurses started getting me admitted, my worse fear was being sent home.  i’ve heard of women being sent home for not being far enough along or for false labor and i was so scared that was going to be me.  what scared me worse was the pain i was in.  i was worried that they would send me home feeling as awful as i was.  once my doctor walked in, she saw the state i was in.  while still happy and friendly, i was obviously in pain and even though i was only dilated to 2 cm, she said it would be absolutely cruel to send me home at this point.  i was there to stay!

it was at this point that the sweet nurse looked at me and said, “let’s get you to your labor room!  and you just let me know when you want your epidural, honey.”  to which i replied sweetly, “um, i’ll take that epidural…now.”  🙂

as we walked to labor and delivery, i had a few more contractions along the way and we stopped a few times in the hall to breathe through them.  when we walked through the doorway of my labor room, i got goosebumps.  this was the room where we would meet our second baby.  this is the room where we would become a family of four.  this is the room i would walk into pregnant and out of a mother of two.  this room wasn’t just another room, but one that we would remember forever in our memories.

around 6:45am, the anesthesiologist knocked on the door with his cart containing the good stuff.  i was so happy to see his face, not only because he was going to make me feel so much better but because he was the same person who administered my spinal tap before my c-section with our first only 20 months prior.  let’s just say, he gives the best epidurals ever.  he is so nice, quick and leaves you thinking, “it’s already in!?”  seriously, an epidural god.

as they sat me up on the bed to put the epidural in my back, i started getting nervous.  i was in a lot of pain and didn’t want to get an epidural during a contraction.  at this point, it’s hospital policy for the husbands to sit down.  they don’t allow husbands to stand during epidurals because this is when they always faint.  never mind all the blood and gore from actually birth…it’s the epidural that gets them every time.  my sweet nurse stood in front of me, hugging me through my final contraction that i would feel.  once it was over, she gave the anesthesiologist the go ahead to insert my epidural.

and, just like that, pain free.

i was so relieved to finally be comfortable and allowed to get some rest so i could save my energy for pushing and meeting our baby.  the nurse came in with my catheter kit and at 7:12am, right after the catheter was placed, there was a loud POP!  my water broke!  having not been home when my water broke with our first baby, my husband was amazed at the sound that came from my water popping.  it literally was a pop!  the nurse was right by my bed when it popped and she said, “well, here we go!”

at 8:00am, the day shift nurses came in to introduce themselves.  they instantly learned that we were going to be the funnest couple in the birthing pavilion.  because we didn’t know the gender of our baby, we started a tally on the whiteboard and had every person who came in, from the anesthesiologist to the doctor to the nurses, place their bet for boy or girl.  we were not only ready to have a baby, but to have a fun experience.  turns out, by the time our baby was born, the votes were split down the middle, 50/50.

as we were laughing with our nursing team, it was at this moment that i started feeling funny.  i was very dizzy, felt really weak and wanted to throw up.  my team of nurses took one look at me and told me my blood pressure was dropping.  i remember how nervous my husband looked and he kept telling them, “she is going to pass out.  i know that look, she always looks like that right before she passes out.”  (he knows this because i am a fainter).  the nurses moved fast at that point.  they quickly grabbed a bag of i don’t remember what, hooked it up to my IV and within a moment, i felt a rush of cold through my arm and felt a million times better.

a half an hour later, dr. m came in to announce she was on shift and would be the official doctor to deliver our baby.  i was so excited, for we really liked her and i was so happy to have her being my delivery doctor, she has such a maternal and soft personality.  at 8:30am, she announced that i was dilated to 4cm and 90% effaced.  i was so excited to be progressing and thankful to be experiencing labor.

but 3 hours later, no change.  i was stalled at 4cm.  it was then that dr. m decided we should try a small amount of pitocin to get things moving.  i wasn’t a fan of the idea and had a strict “no pitocin” rule in my birth plan.  being a newborn photographer, i have heard so many birth stories and every time i heard a birth story that was painful…it was because of pitocin.  having had a c-section previously, the doctors told me that i would only  be allowed to have a very minor amount of pitocin because of the risk of complications occurring from a previous c-section.

we decided to take a little while to decide and the doctor gave us plenty of time to talk about it privately.  the one thing i love about dr. m is her patience.  she thoroughly answered all of our questions about pitocin and, in the end, we decided to give it a try.  at 11:50am, she started me on a tiny dose of 1 mL/hour and said she would be back to check on me in a few hours.

a few hours passed and at 3:00pm, i was still at 4cm.  dr. m upped my pitocin a little more to see if that would help but at 4:30pm, still no change.

it was at this point that i realized my VBAC was failing and i was going to have another c-section.  i was at peace with the idea.  my first c-section was the easiest thing and a wonderful experience with a fast recovery, so i was fine with the idea.  we started talking to dr. m about the c-section and my husband wanted to make sure all of our questions were answered, specifically if we could have more children if i had 2 c-sections, to which she said, “absolutely!”

while i was ready to have a c-section and at peace with the idea, dr. m wasn’t about to give up on my VBAC just yet.  as a last ditch effort, she decided to try upping my pitocin to 4mL/hour around 7pm and said she would be back in 30 minutes to check on me.  at this point she said we wouldn’t be having a baby today, but definitely by tomorrow.  as she left the room, our nurse walked in and asked if i would like to try laying with the peanut ball to see if that would help dilation.

immediately after i was on the peanut ball, i started feeling my contractions intensify on my right side and panicked.  the nurse increased my epidural and helped me shift on the peanut ball to make sure my epidural stayed evenly spread out.  after 30 minutes, dr. m came back in to check me real quick.

and we will never forget this part.  at 7:30pm, dr m. looked at me and said, “bethany!”

i opened my eyes and looked right at her, confused at her excitement.  i had been stalled at 4 cm for almost 12 hours so i wasn’t expecting any change and was ready to be prepped for surgery.

“bethany!”  she repeated.  “you are dilated to 10cm and you are ready to push!”

um, what?  how in the world did i go from 4cm to 10cm within 30 minutes?

and that is when everything started moving really fast.

dr. m called all of the nurses into the room and everything was prepped for delivery.  baby blankets were brought in, my bed was transitioned into a labor bed, gowns were put on, new team members were introduced.

at 8:00pm, i started to push.  with my husband (who is the best labor coach i could ever had dreamed of) on my left side and a team of 3 nurses on my right, i pushed for a short 30 minutes and heard a cry at 8:33pm as my husband announced, “it’s a girl!” and i saw our sweet baby for the very first time.  the nurses were laughing, as she cried before she was even all the way out.  and that is how her APGAR score was a 9.9.  🙂

seeing her for the first time was indescribable.  i won’t even try to put into words the love i felt for both my second baby girl and for my husband.  it was pure joy.

for my first natural birth, dr. m was antonished at how perfect it was.  i pushed for a short 30 minutes and, thankfully, only had a papercut of a tear.  i couldn’t have been luckier.  and if you ask us today, we are still in complete shock of how quick and easy the entire birth was.  i had spent the last 9 months wondering about how our birth would play out and praying to experience natural child birth and, in the end, it was everything i wanted it to be.

at my 6 week check-up, my doctor asked me which birth i preferred…my c-section or my VBAC.  to be honest, they were equally easy.  while my VBAC was quick and easy, i felt that my c-section recovery was easier.  but no matter what, i am so blessed to have been given both experiences.  and to be given two beautiful and sweet baby girls.  however, the best thing about having a VBAC the second time around was being able to be released from the hospital quicker so we could go home to our 20 month old…we missed her terribly.

every mama i know loves to tell the story of their childbirth(s).  everyone’s story is so beautifully different and special.  i am so thankful to have had two very peaceful births, both very different from one another.  and just how i will remember all the sweet little things my girls do each day,  i will always remember the beautiful days that each of them were born.  always.

to read more about my journey with motherhood, be sure to check out what posts are trending below.

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Letters To My Children | March 2018

Letters To My Children | March 2018

this post contains affiliate links, meaning that i get a commission off of products purchased through the links.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so that i can continue to inspire you with our everyday.

Letters To My Children | March 2018 | Bethadilly Photography

baby outfit sources:

two month old: sweater / bow

two year old: bow / bracelets

wednesday, march 14, 2018

dear babies,

hello, my little honey bunnies!  we are officially two months into being a family of four and both of you are growing way too fast.  i tell myself every day, “they won’t be as young again as they are in this moment,” for every minute you literally become older.  sometimes it is refreshing knowing that every minute we are closer and closer to ending the endless diapers, but most of the time i am saddened that these days of you being little are fleeting.  so i soak in every moment, whether it is a sweet and calm moment or a noisy and crying moment.  you are both our greatest adventure and we are cherishing these days.

to my oldest:

i am truly surprised with how helpful you are.  it isn’t the helpfulness that surprises me, but that i still see you as a tiny baby and i am surprised with how much you are capable of.  you are proving me to every single day that you are a big girl, as you hand me blankets and burp cloths for your sister, or help me pick up something off the floor when i am juggling your squirmy sister in my arms.  i am learning to accept the fact that you are growing into a little girl, but cling onto the idea that you are still my little baby.  you will always be my little baby.

well, ms. smartie girl…you have officially graduated from speech therapy!  you were supposed to have an entire year of speech therapy, but it turns out that you only needed 6 months!  when mama told your teacher how many words you can say now, she was blown away and said you are good to go.  we are so proud of you!  now we are working on two word phrases and you are just now starting to play around with that idea.  the other day you said, “night night jake,” to the puppy at bedtime and “dada hi!” when your daddy came home.  while you are not consistently talking in two word phrases, you aren’t expected to for another couple of months so we are super excited that you are already trying!

while we are laughing about it now, we certainly weren’t laughing about the “pea incident” that took place on a pretty afternoon on february 27th.  good lordy, girl.  5 peas up your nose?  mama was equally horrified and impressed.  i didn’t realize anything was wrong until i saw you stick your finger up your nose and i thought, “that is interesting, she never sticks her finger in her nose.”  it only took you doing that once again for me to notice the green color in your right nostril.  i will always remember that initial panic i felt when i realized that you did indeed push a pea into your nose.  it wasn’t until i took it out that i realized…there is still green in there!  mama was able to remove 4 peas before taking you to the pediatrician to remove the 5th…and to ensure that 5 was the final number.  despite all the ruckus, you were quite a happy little girl.  thank goodness your grandparents were visiting so they could watch your little sister while we went on our adventure to the pediatrician, who was equally impressed that you managed to fit 5 peas into your tiny nose.  i think that was our grand introduction into toddlerhood.  where you are proving to be more and more independent, you are also proving that you need constant eye on you too.  sneaky little sweetie.

i can’t help but hold you a little tighter this month because i know it is our final month before you turn 2.  how can that even be?  it seems like you were just turning 1, let alone just being born.  i hold you close every day, but i am holding you just a tad closer right now.  as if i can pause time, just for a second, with each squeeze.  and so this your final letter from mommy, as a 1 year old.  goodness, i may cry.

to my youngest:

in so many ways you are changing all at once.  at around 7 weeks, your nightly crying turned completely off and you started to have an easier “witching hour.”  and right around the same time, you really started smiling for us.  before that, you would smile off and on, but now you are sharing some of the sweetest little smiles.  sometimes mama is lucky enough to get a picture of one, but i mostly just savor them and live in the moment with you.

at two months, you are such a strong baby.  you are the master of tummy time and, although you dislike it, you do very well at it.  you can lift your head really high and you are learning to push up with your arms.  you prefer laying on your back and looking up at the ceiling, especially the wooden beams in the playroom or at the ceiling fan in mama and daddy’s room.  you love the bold contrast and find it fascinating.  just this week you started to really study our faces. you are going through your second leap (as we know through reading the wonder weeks), which is encouraging you to learn more about patterns.  instead of looking towards the outside edges of our faces, you are looking right at us and noticing the patterns that make up our faces.  it’s so sweet to look at you and have you looking right back!

while you are every bit like your sister in looks, we laugh at how different you two are.  to name and few (and so i will always remember this list): you love your carseat and car rides, your sister did not.  you sleep in the car, your sister did not and still does not.  you love having your diaper changed, your sister did not and…still does not.  you are rather fussy, while your sister wasn’t as much.  you love to sleep all the time, while your sister was awake, awake, awake from the moment she was born.  while those are the only differences so far, we are sure to see more and more as you grow.

as you are growing and becoming more aware of the ones that surround you, you have become quite fond of your sister.  you really love it when she lays on the playmat with you and makes the owl “hoot.”  she equally loves the fact that she can show you new things and that you just watch her do it all.  it is really sweet to watch the two of you together as you learn more about one another each day and learn to become sisters.

as for sleep, you are a wonderful sleeper during the day.  you only like to be awake for an hour at a time, which gives us just enough time to breastfeed, change your diaper, and play and socialize for a few minutes before you are showing signs that you want to go back to sleep.  as for the nighttime, you are starting to get into a sleep routine.  you are usually asleep by 9:45, after about an hour of trying to get you to sleep, and you usually sleep until about 3:00.  then you get a quick diaper change and feed and are back to sleep until around 6:30ish.  this has been your schedule pretty consistently for the past few evenings so we are thinking you are finally getting into a routine that works for you.  and it works for mama too!  i am loving the idea of getting little more sleep again.

as we head into spring, we have a lot of fun things coming up.  we have a 2 year old to celebrate, Easter (i am in love with your Easter baskets this year), and some fun family adventures with the four of us.  it seems like there are always wonderful things to look forward to as we grow as a family and you both sure make this life of ours so much fun.  we love this family of ours and can’t wait to start another day of memories each and every day.

i love you both, endlessly.


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Easter Basket Fillers for Toddler and Baby Girls

hands down, one of my favorite things about being a mama is creating holiday memories for my two girls…and putting together sweet gifts for them.  i love decorating the house for the holidays, dressing the girls real sweetly and photographing all the holiday moments so we will remember them down the road.  easter is one of my favorite holidays because of the reason for the holiday and because…easter baskets.  and this year, the easter bunny is bringing two darling baskets to our house.  my main goal with easter baskets is to keep them both simple and classic.  when it comes to easter basket fillers for toddler and baby girls, i filled their baskets with all of our favorite things.  things for them to cuddle, things for them to play with, and things to make them gosh darn darling.

as i worked towards creating easter baskets for our girls this year, i collaborated with some small shops to bring them together and am grateful to the shops that sent items to be featured within this post.  at the end of this post, you will find a list of all the shops that sent items for their baskets so definitely go check out their beautiful products!

getting ready to photograph your easter egg hunt?  be sure to check our daughter’s first easter egg hunt for a little inspiration!

and click here to see what 5 photos you should take when coloring easter eggs!

and finally, if you missed last year’s easter basket, be sure to check out these classic ideas for baby girl easter baskets!

this post contains some affiliate links, which means i get a commission for items purchased through the link.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog.

Easter Basket Fillers for Toddler and Baby Girls

i love everything about how the girls’ baskets came together this year.  being up all hours of the night breastfeeding our two month old, i have had lots of time to think through their baskets and…all that sleep deprivation turned into two really darling baskets.  below you will find some beautiful easter basket fillers for toddler and baby girls.  and to make it easy for you, i linked everything up!

Easter Basket for 2 Month Old Girl

i couldn’t not do an easter basket for our youngest, even though she is a teeny tiny two months!  filled with everything a two month old girl could need, her basket is stuffed with a new knit doll, sweet bunny mary jane shoes, bunny pajamas, a wooden bunny teether, a blush wooden teether, newborn bracelets, and velvet bows.  because, teething soon and looking darling is what being two months is all about!

Easter Basket Fillers for Toddler and Baby Girls | www.bethadilly.com

Two Month Old Girl Easter Basket Source List

20″ avery the lamb knit doll // courtesy of cuddle + kind

baby bracelets // courtesy of baby cates shop

velvet bows // courtesy of cammi and co.

bunny teether // courtesy of late night luna

blush wooden teether // courtesy of late night luna

bunny mary jane shoes // purchased from gap

bunny pajamas // purchased from the gap

flower tree // purchased at target

. . . . .

Easter Basket for 2 Year Old Girl

our little two year old is a smartie pants, encouraging me to add educational fun to her basket this year.  because of her new love for coloring, a little pack of colored pencils was a must.  and for fine motor skill fun, a lace up wooden bunny and stackable bunny…which she is going to go crazy for, i know!  everything else is linked below within the source list!

Easter Basket Fillers for Toddler and Baby Girls | www.bethadilly.com

Two Year Old Girl Easter Basket Source List

20″ charlotte the dog knit doll // courtesy of cuddle + kind

baby bracelets // courtesy of baby cates shop

velvet bows // courtesy of cammi and co.

bunny pajamas // purchased from the gap

egg tree // purchased at target, last season

bunny roo, i love you book // purchased on amazon

bunny lace up toy // purchased at target, similar idea here

bunny block stacker // purchased at target, similar idea here

mini colored pencils // purchased at michaels, similar found here

. . . . .

thanks so much for stopping by my blog, i hope that i have inspired you today!  what are your favorite easter basket fillers for toddler and baby girls?  share with us your finds in the comment section below!  have a lovely easter!

Easter Basket Fillers for Toddler and Baby Girls | www.bethadilly.com

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  • Letters To My Children | March 2018 - bethadilly - […] have a lot of fun things coming up.  we have a 2 year old to celebrate, Easter (i am in love with your Easter baskets this year), and some fun family adventures with the four of us.  it seems like there are always wonderful […]ReplyCancel