Sitting in Our Tree

a very bethune christmas mix | 2017

christmasKelsey Bethune
 
 

Alright, while I somehow found an additional 3 hrs of Christmas music for this year's playlist, I DO feel like the selection is getting odder. Just a fair warning. I'm not mad, but I will say that 2015's playlist is still my favorite child, so feel free to revisit playlists of Christmas' past.

My heart flutters reading last year's playlist post about how he was kicking me in the bladder this time last year. WHAT A YEAR. I am so so glad he is earthside this year. Christmas has an added level of magic knowing that it's my baby boy's first time experiencing it all. We started listening to Christmas music extra early this year because Crew has SO MANY SONGS TO HEAR FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. Thank goodness his mother has 13 hours of playlists built up

Enjoy, friends!

A Very Bethune Christmas Mix | 2013
A Very Bethune Christmas Mix | 2014
A Very Bethune Christmas Mix | 2015
A Very Bethune Christmas Mix | 2016

Halloween 2017

halloweenKelsey BethuneComment
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"Dress up like Dr. Ian Malcolm, Dr. Ellie Sattler, & velociraptor baby" has literally been on our shared calendar since last year, when I, barely pregnant, suddenly realized that my dream family costume could finally become a reality in 2017. I love Jurassic Park with all my heart (I even like The Lost World), so I've been plotting this for a few... years. Decades? Years. Now, I'd love to say that I handcrafted this costume, especially since they apparently don't make velociraptor costumes for babies? Causing us to settle on a dinosaur costume... But crafting in the city is harrdddddd. So costumediscounters.com or whatever it was, for the win! (It's this costume from Target, but it was cheaper on the other site.) I already know I'm going to have to craft Crew's costume for next year from scratch, so I cut myself a little break.

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Yes, we already have next year's costumes planned. Turns out, having a kid makes Halloween way more fun? Jared's inner musical theatre kid loves it, & now that Crew's around to play with dress up, I'm extra motivated.

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Let's just quickly gloss over my celebrity crush on Jeff Goldblum & how this was another dream come true to get Jared dressed up as him. I have to make sure you know how agonized he was over not having a solution for Jeff's curly hair and not owning bootcut 90's dad jeans... He's a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to costumes (again, hi musical theatre), but I think he got the job done. AAAANYWAYS. Giant huge shout out to my mother-in-law, who's incredible costuming collection once again saves the day. Not everyone can say that they had an Emmy nominated costume designer help them assemble their Halloween costumes. *hair flip* Also a giant thank you to my sister Lissy for snapping these photos - What would we do without our life photographer?

I'm off to go figure out how to keep myself from dressing Crew up in a dinosaur costume every day until next year. Happy Halloween!

xo

baby in a pumpkin patch + hi!

baby, halloweenKelsey Bethune1 Comment

Hi blog world! It has been a hot minute. I have such a back up of posts I *still* need to write, & the time finally feels right to dive back in! July & August got pretty intense with a huge wedding I had with Tart Event Co. - A wedding that predated babies & required nearly all of our attention & energy, with the rest going straight to baby & husband. Then, quite frankly, it took all of September to sort of relax, regroup & reengage with my little family. October has been filled with travel & puppies & my birthday & most recently, our 7th wedding anniversary. So, things have been busy, but I unapologetically just didn't prioritize spending too much time here -- I've spent my days receiving the most slobbery kisses from my baby & my evenings soaking up time (& adult conversation, a respite after a day with a non-verbal baby) with my babe of a husband. It was a good summer/early fall.It's so crazy to look back at my last post over 4th of July & see how big our little bear has gotten! Crew's development has been incredible to watch this past month, with his independence & capabilities growing stronger every day. It's been way harder for me to register his newfound autonomy than it has for him to flex his little-human capabilities, but when I finally take a step back & listen to what he's telling me, I realize things like... He can play by himself on the floor for 30 minutes. He's ready for bed by 6:15pm. He enjoys napping in his own room. I'm not quite at the point that my heart breaks over my tiny baby getting older -- Honestly, most days, I'm over the moon about these little leaps and bounds of his aptitude & abilities, since the... Is paralysis too strong a word? of the newborn months is still rather fresh in my mind. But he's half a year old, & I'm sure the my-baby-is-growing-up heartache will begin soon enough.ANYWAYS, that's a lot of mom talk. I have so, SO many photos that I need to share, which I am forever putting off because there's is nearly always a monthly photo book I need to be assembling. Time, you thief. But this is a start!Crew got to visit TWO pumpkin patches when I took him back to my parents for a weekend while Jared went on his annual camping trip. His mind was pretty much blown -  I could hardly get him to look up at the camera, even after enlisting Poppy's help. Watching him experience new things, textures & places is just the best. He has the best little mind. With Halloween around the corner (& you better hold onto your butts for how cute a certain someone's costume is), the holidays are NEARLY here & I just can't wait to share it with our little family. Babies & Christmas? It's basically my lifelong dream come true. For now, I will soak up these photos of my 23 week old baby, as he tried his hardest to comprehend the wonderland of round orange objects that mom let him sit amongst ALL by himself. His chubby little nearly-6-month-old hands trying to touch as many pumpkins as possible at one time, as if they'd disappear if he took his hands off him. His squinty eyes trying so hard to peek up at his beckoning mama, "Crew! Crew! Smile!" with the bright grey sky behind my head, glancing quickly away with the most delighted smirk on his face, like he was getting away with something & couldn't believe his luck. The smell of outside lingering on his fine little duckling hairs when I picked him up & pulled his face to mine, & his chunky cheeks being so much colder than the rest of his warm body as I held him close. Brushing his diapered booty off, & thinking this is a first of many times that I'll brush grass & dirt off his little legs, or wipe dirt from his tightly fisted hands. Where do you store these mama moments? How do you keep them all fresh & close to your heart, ripe for reminiscing when he goes to bed too early or is suddenly 3, 13, 23 years old? I know there isn't any answer, but I sure am glad to at least have a blog to put away some of these moments.

xo

4th of July | 2017

-Kelsey BethuneComment

We hopped down to my parents' for 4th of July festivities this year, made extra fun by our besties, the Coulombs, now living in the same area. They had their baby boy Cohen about a month ago, so he was only about two weeks in these photos. Fresh little baby goodness! Crew & Cohen were SUPPOSED to be a whole three months apart, but with Crew arriving two weeks late & Cohen arriving two weeks early, they closed the gap to be only two months apart. It's so crazy how big the age gap seems now, but how these two will be essentially the same age the rest of their lives. Thick as thieves, I'm sure. It's a true blessing to be able to encounter parenting in all of its wonderful, surprising & tough moments alongside Amelia & Andrew. (& no, that wasn't planned out in advance, but we're sure glad it worked out the way it did.)

Also pictured are my sister's three kids, who keep us all busy & entertained. Pool days in mom & dad's backyard sure have change since high school... A bit more of a workout now! (A workout I'd choose over a gym any day.) Holidays with these little ones are so FUN, especially when you add in Jared's 4th of July cocktail. I challenged him to make a red, white & blue drink & he sure did deliver. Whatta mighty fine man.

Aside from Easter (spent in the hospital, boooo), this is our second major holiday as a family of three & I just loved it so much. Any extra time I get with my two men & rice krispy treats is a dream come true.

Co-Sleeping Heaven with Plum & Sparrow

baby, baby productsKelsey Bethune3 Comments

I mentioned back in our Newborn Essentials post that figuring out our co-sleeping situation started out a little stressful to me. All we knew was that we definitely wanted our baby in the same room as us for at least the first 6 months, but that moving the entire crib into our room was NOT a feasible option due to space. It seemed like all the co-sleepers on the market that weren’t lime green & HUGE were insanely expensive or not even sold in the US. Thanks to Instagram, I knew that Moses baskets in rockers were a popular solution, & after finding Plum &Sparrow, i knew we’d discovered our perfect set-up.

Plum & Sparrow is a California based company that offers Moses baskets, market baskets and other hand-made accessories, all of which are sustainably made by African weavers. As part of the Fair Trade Federation, 10% of each purchase goes directly back to the village that creates these beautiful baskets, & that’s a mission that is worth supporting. The weavers have creative freedom with each basket that is individually crafted, so when there are beautiful color worked into the weaves, that’s the weavers personal artistic expression. Though our style is a little more neutral, there are really gorgeous, colorful options available.

Our Plum & Sparrow Moses basket has been Crew’s bassinet from Day 1. We paired it with a rocker & it sits right next to my side of the bed. When he was a newborn, it was super easy for me to lean over in the middle of the night & barely strain to pick him up for a feeding since the rocker put the basket at the perfect level with our platform bed. It was also super nice that the basket comes with a mattress that is perfectly sized to the basket… & a mattress sheet that perfectly fits the mattress. That seems obvious, but you would be amazed at how dramatic those three things all fitting together can be! The mattress is a 2” thick, hypo-allergenic waterproof pad, & the sheet is 100% cotton. Along with the fitted sheet, we simply pair this with one of our swaddles to keep him warm, creating a perfectly safe sleeping environment for our little babe. Now that we’ve got him on a more strict bedtime routine, it’s so sweet to see that he knows bedtime & he knows his bed. When I was pregnant, we never dreamed that we would have a big baby, & were definitely planning on him being under 20 lbs till he was AT LEAST 6 months old, but our nearly 3 month old is nearly 15 lbs, so we’ll see if we can make it to 6 months in the basket. I'm certainly crossing my fingers & toes that we can, because I won't know what our next transition bed would be before we move him into his own room at night. EEK.

Aside from being our ideal sleep situation, Plum & Sparrow’s basket was also an ideal home solution. Even though our apartment is pretty generously sized for being a DC apartment, there are no unused rooms or basement playrooms, & our one big storage closet is pretty full, so every baby item we picked out needed to fit in with our home aesthetic & essentially become part of the decor. This beautiful crafted basket is such a gorgeous weave with both great structure & a polished look. The leather handles are a perfect touch & feel so secure to lift as we move from room to room. I love that our bassinet gives our room a finished look, but also that I can leave it in the family room & it still looks like a piece that belongs in our home. I know that seems silly, but it’s really lovely to feel like our home is still OURS, not being overrun by baby items.

Our Plum & Sparrow Moses basket has been such a wonderful solution to these newborn & infant days. I try not to think about the day that he officially grows out of sleeping in it, but we will always be grateful for this basket being such an ease to work with as we’ve navigated our new baby & all the sleeping lessons that come along with parenthood. I can whole-heartedly recommend using a Moses basket for your bassinet, but even more sincerely, I recommend shopping with Plum & Sparrow to support their fair trade mission & give back to those creating these beautiful pieces!

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Plum & Sparrow is a company that we’ve had the honor to partner with in exchange for a product review. Thoughts & opinions on this product are ours. We 100% stand behind the quality & use of this product, unless otherwise noted in blog post review.