Mum & Baby Holiday Gift Ideas

**See my fitness & health related gift idea post HERE!

MY WORKOUTS

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Obviously my Pregnancy Workout Guide, Pregnancy & Postpartum Workout Subscription, and “Regular” Workout Subscription are something I’d recommend for pregnant and postpartum mamas. They are workouts that I 100% stand behind, and were put together from my education as a certified personal trainer, certified women’s fitness specialist, and certified pregnancy fitness, and certified pre/postnatal exercise specialist. They are not only SAFE workouts for pregnancy and postpartum, but they are designed to also be EFFECTIVE, and strengthen the muscles that need strengthening to help prevent abdominal separation, support your pelvic floor, and help your body prepare for and heal after delivery.

LOOPY CASE

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I’ve had my Loopy Case since February, and I SWEAR by it! I hardly ever drop my phone anymore, and the few times I have (or when Piper has), it’s been totally protected. The loop at the back stops it from slipping out of my hand, and I loop it around my finger all the time when I have my hands full of bags & babies. It’s SO handy! Every mama needs one. I don’t have a code, but I follow someone who does! Use “SWENSON10” for 10% off

FAWN DESIGN

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I loooove my Fawn Design diaper bag! It has lots of pockets, easy to clean messes, and I like that it doesn’t look so diaper bag-y, if you know what I mean.

FRESHLY PICKED

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I also have a Freshly Picked diaper bag, and love it just as much! I’d recommend either one, honestly! This one is a big bigger, so it’s great for days when I’m out for longer periods of time. If you sign up for their Fringe membership, you get it for 20% off! You pay $10 a month for the membership, but it just adds that $10 to you account to use on their site. It rolls over, so if you don’t use it that month, the next month you’ll have $20 if you account. Everything is 20% off and free shipping that way too!

FACE MASK

I love small little gifts like this clay face mask, because it’s something for a mum to use for a little self care!

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I used a Solly Wrap with both babies, and it was the BEST! Sometimes it was the only way I could get them to sleep! I loved having them so close to me, but also being able to get things done with both hands!

PROMPTLY JOURNALS

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I’ve shared Promptly Journals a few times on my Instagram stories, but I have 2 of their journals for Piper and Jack, and it makes keeping track of their milestones, memories, and things I don’t want to forget SO easy. They prompt you with questions at each age, so you can remember it all. I felt overwhelmed trying to figure out a way to keep track of their lives, and have loved using these journals!

PLAY KITCHEN

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Play kitchens are Piper’s favourite things to play with at other people’s homes, so I got her one for Christmas (still have to set it up though…sos). She’s going to love it! I got in on Amazon for $99, but it’s on sale for $79.99 right now!

VELCRO FOOD

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My mum bought Piper something similar to this last year for Christmas, and she LOVES it. It keeps her busy forever, and she still asks to play with them all the time.

POP UP PIRATE

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I used to play Pop-Up Pirate all the time as a kid, and bought the game for Piper for Christmas. I ended up getting it out and letting them play with it because I couldn’t wait haha. We play with it EVERYDAY now. It’s such an easy, entertaining game for little kids.

BABY BASKETBALL

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Jack looooves balls, so I got him this little basketball net for his birthday. It’s supposed to go in the bath, but I just put it on the Fridge, and he puts the ball in and out of the hoop alllll day long. It was the cheapest present I bought him, and is definitely his favourite!

BOOKS

Both of my kids love reading, and it’s the only time I can get them to sit still these days. These are some of their favourites:

Each Peach Pear Plum

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Where’s Spot

The Pout-Pout Fish

The Napping House

First 100 Words

Friday Favourites

Except on Monday. It’s all good. I have my life together, I swear…

Here are some of my favourite things that I find helpful in regards to being a mum, and trying to live a healthy lifestyle! Happy Monday!!

TRUE LEMON + COLLAGEN PEPTIDES

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I have been drinking this mix regularly since the beginning of the summer, so I have no clue why I’m only posting about it now. True Lemon is a natural mix that I like drinking during the afternoon to mix up plain water. I add in Collagen For Her collagen peptides (I believe “GOODFORTHESWOLE” gets you 10% off) because they are unflavoured and it’s just an easy way to sneak in collagen.

MENTAL HEALTH

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I’ve always known mental health is important, but going through a divorce has given me a whole new appreciation for it, and I see the direct impact it has on physical and just overall health. IT IS SO IMPORTANT. I recently started following Alexa Allred (@allredyalexa) on Instagram. She is a Mental Health Therapist, and shares helpful tips, advice, and mental health education on her page. Even just seeing her posts and stories pop up are a nice reminder every day to check in and make sure my mental health is taken care of too!

SHARK MOP

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When I went to Washington D.C. to visit a friend a couple of months ago, she was raaaving about her new Shark mop. You know you’re old when you get so excited about cleaning supplies haha. I ordered one on Amazon, and it really is the best! Jack and Piper are the messiest eaters known to mankind, so meal times look like a giant food fight took place. It’s so easy to just plug this mop in, and quickly sanitize the floors. It uses steam which I love because Jack’s crawls around the floors, and having chemicals all over the place stress me out. You just add water, and the steam kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria. I could go on and on, but just go and read the reviews. I’m a fan!

WORKOUT SUBSCRIPTION

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Obviously, I’m going to bring up my newest workout subscription! This one is designed for anyone wanting to workout effectively from home! I don’t get to workout at the gym very often, so most of my workouts happen from home. I know a lot of women/mothers can’t get to the gym either, so I hope this helps! For more information, go HERE!

NURSING SPORTS BRA

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Senita Athletics just released another style of nursing sports bras. Since starting Good For The Swole, I’ve had the chance to try nursing sports bras from different companies. Senita Athletics are hands down my FAAAAVOURITE nursing sports bras. They are comfortable, supportive, and the padding inside doesn’t bunch up when you pull it down to nurse (you know what I mean????). I have a smaller chest, so both styles of nursing sports bras work great for me, and I love them both. Their newest one has more coverage, and offers more support. If you have a larger chest, I’d opt for this one, but both are AWESOME!!

9 Months Of Jack

Jack will be 10 months old in a week, but better late than never I guess!

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He is the SWEETEST little guy. I think all babies have a sweetness, but he has this special, calming presence about him. He’s been such a gift to me.

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He used to be a HARD, HARD baby (which was probably because he had open sores all over his body thanks to eczema), but he’s really mellowed out and is generally a chill little chap. He only really cries when I leave the room. We’ve entered the separation anxiety stage, and it’s a hoot!

He is ALL over the place, and climbs onto everything. He pulls himself up and walks around all the furniture, and climbs on top of anything that’s low enough to get his little leg up on. He’s still a speedy crawler, and has started letting go of furniture and trying to stand up by himself (he’s lasts .01 seconds haha). It’s crazy to think that Piper was already walking at this age!

With that, changing his diaper/getting is ready is the most frustrating job in the world. He’s so wiggly and contorts his body is the most bizarre shapes to get away.

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He hasn’t had any more teeth come through this month, so he still has 8. He bites me at least a couple of times a day when we’re nursing, and it’s SO painful. We’re still going strong with breastfeeding though, and I don’t have plans to stop anytime soon. I’ll wean whenever both of us are ready.

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He squeals and kicks his legs with excitement when I put him down for naps, and goes right off to sleep. He has been waking up at 8am recently, and then goes down for his first nap around 9:30am. He sleeps for 1-2 hours, and then goes back down for another nap (timed for the same time as Pipes) around 2:00pm. He sleeps for another 1 1/2 -2 hours, and goes down for the night at 7pm. His sleeping habits have been a struggle up until this point, but we’re finally in a good routine again and him sleeping through the night is the BEST THING EVER.

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He’s a tiny bub and only in the 7th percentile for weight He’s following the growth curve perfectly though, and his pediatrician isn’t concerned at all, he’s just little for his age. He eats 500x more than Piper, so I have no idea where he puts it all. He’s a great eater, and because he has a lot of teeth, he’s eating pretty much any solid food. He likes to only feed himself though which means we have lots of bath times around here.

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He lights up and kicks his legs when he sees Piper after his naps, and tries to do whatever she’s doing. I’m still working with her on being soft and sharing (“careful” is the most used word around here), but they have such a special bond and I swear I could cry every time they just look at each other. He’s always by her side and tries to copy everything she does.

Not their best picture haha, but this is their favourite thing to do lately. They’re the best duo.

Not their best picture haha, but this is their favourite thing to do lately. They’re the best duo.

Full Day Of Eating: Piper Edition

Piper's eating habits have changed drastically over the last couple of months. She used to be an AWESOME eater, and would eat a ton of great food. Lately, she's become a little more opinionated in all areas, but especially with her food. 

Her pediatrician warned me at her 2 year appointment that kids generally stop eating as much between 2-3 years old, and to not be worried about it. It's a little frustrating sometimes when I make her lunch, and she won't touch any of it *eye roll*, but I keep offering, keep providing lots of options on her plate, and I don't ever make her something different if she refuses to eat. If she doesn't eat anything, I just put it in the fridge and give it to her again later. 

She turned 2 in May, and while she definitely doesn't finish everything, here is a day of eating for her that's pretty typical of how she normally eats: 

BREAKFAST

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1 pasture-raised egg, 1 sprouted ezekiel toast with mashed avocado.

SNACK

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Yogurt from Trader Joes. She used to looooove yogurt, but now only takes a few bites. 

LUNCH

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Cucumber slices (her favourite), 1/2 slice of sprouted toast with peanut butter, a few slices of banana, carrots, and turkey slices. 

SNACK

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Chicken sausage, apples, and cheese slices

DINNER

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This wasn't her plate, obviously haha, but this was my dinner, and she had a bowl of sweet potato, black beans, corn, and avocado slices. 

Potty Training Piper

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If you’ve ever wondered what potty training in style looks like, you’re looking at it.  

I had ZERO intention of potty training Piper before she turned 2 , because I had way too much on my plate already, but she started being very aware of when she peed or pooped in her diaper. She also started taking the poop out of her diaper during naps/bedtime, and wiping it EVERYWHERE. It was horrific, and it would be all in her hair, her clothes, the walls, her sheets, the crib railings...seriously everywhere. I decided enough was enough, and I was going to take advantage of this terrible awareness she suddenly had, and start potty training her. 

I asked for any advice on potty training on an Instagram story, and about 90% of people recommended "Oh Crap! Potty Training". I bought it on Amazon HERE (it's a really easy, entertaining read), and I can't recommend it enough! It answered every single question I had, and also questions I didn't know I would have as I went through it all. It's still a draining and frustrating process, but this book laid it all out, and I just followed the steps. I can honestly say it was 100x easier than I thought it was going to be. I've had tons of other mums message me on IG saying they bought the book after I recommended it, and also raved about how easy it was (considering it IS potty training after all) and how well it worked. 

The book breaks each stage down into phases. Each kid goes through the phases at different paces. It's not a day one, day two, etc. type of layout. We all learn differently, and at different speeds, so you just go to the next stage when your child is ready. 

The first day, Piper was completely naked the whole time. We didn't go anywhere, and I was supposed to keep my eyes on her THE WHOLE TIME. This was the hardest part for me, because I also had baby Jack who needed breastfeeding, diaper changes, etc. I swear whenever I would go put him down in his crib, or start changing his diaper, she'd start peeing. The whole point was to watch her EVERY move, look for her signs of needing to go to the bathroom, and rush her to the potty before then, or as soon as she started to go. I missed A LOT of her cues, and there were a lot of accidents. By the end of the first day, I thought it was a total failure, and I should maybe do it when Jack was a little older and not so dependent on me. 

The book talked a lot about making sure YOU are ready, not them. The next day, I decided to man up and just keep at it. Instead of letting her roam and play like she normally would, I turned on Shrek (to keep her still and in one place), gave her a drink, and had her sit on the potty the whole time. If she really didn't want to sit on it the whole time, I wouldn't have forced her, but she rather enjoyed her nice little chair, and when she went all by herself (without me rushing her over to it), it all clicked. She still had occasional accidents, but she connected the feeling of needing to go to the bathroom, and going in the potty. I FREAKED out when she did it by herself. I'm talking jumping around, clapping, kissing, high-fiving. I was so proud of her, and I made a HUGE deal out of it every time she went. She loved it and always got so excited. 

After the second day, I put on clothes (she was still commando though), and we did the same type of thing (Phase 2). She got better and better, and there were fewer accidents. By the 3-4th day, she was wearing panties and would tell me when she had to use the potty 90% of the time. 

The book explains each stage in more detail, but those were the general steps I took to potty training her. I never got around to buying her a sticker chart honestly (oops), but whenever she went to the potty I acted like she won the lottery, and got SO excited with her, and let her have a little treat every time at first, and then every now and then, and then just a big hug and a "I'm so proud of you". Now she uses the potty by herself, proudly takes it to the toilet while whispering "I'm so proud of you" to herself, and walks herself to my mum's cookie cupboard before I stir her in the other direction ha. She did REALLY well and I'm so proud of her. 

I don't think potty training is a one size fits all type of thing, because every kid is SO different. This was a pretty brief summary of the process, but to sum it up, go buy "Oh Crap! Potty training!" haha.