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an easter basket for the fur child ...

*** this post was sponsored by kroger. all opinions are 100% my own. ***

since eleanor joined the gang back in january, ms hattie our english bulldog graciously accepted her new role playing 2nd fiddle. so when kroger approached me with the challenge to create an easter basket for a loved one exclusively from items purchased at their store - i decided to spoil our pup with an easter basket of her own. after all, hattie is much more excited about goodies than our little one at this stage.

this was also a great opportunity to visit the new kroger marketplace®! along with the huge variety of the fresh food i've come to expect from my neighborhood kroger, the kroger marketplace® is a one-stop shop for everything else for your home - including home decor, linens, small appliances and more. and when it came to items for hattie's easter basket - it did not disappoint. i filled her basket with pup essentials:

- a little lamb doll (with sewn on features as a safe choice) + bunny ears from the easter selection
- a rubber ball from their amazing selection of pet toys
- a water bottle wrapped in a sock from the $1 bins (which of course is her favorite from the basket!)
- from their home goods section, i picked up a jar to fill with homemade dog treats!

... and even a little gift for me - a lint brush!

kroger has a great big natural section loaded with the gluten free products that we love as well! when we adopted hattie a year ago, we weren't entirely familiar with the bulldog breed. we knew they were super squishy, loud snoring, crazy loyal lovebugs. but we didn't realize that they are also one of the most unhealthy breeds. you can help with their allergies and breathing issues by keeping them on a gluten free diet. so yes - in this household even our dog is gluten free!

here's a super easy recipe for gluten free dog treats:
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/4c natural peanut butter*
  • 1/2c bacon, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4c gluten-free oat flour*
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free oats*
* peanut butter is a good source of protein + it contains healthy fats, vitamin b, niacin and vitamin e. and oats are a great source of fiber which is especially beneficial as your dog ages. 

preheat oven to 300ยบ F.
  1. combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients (except the bacon) separately. then mix the wet with the dry ingredients. finally fold in the bacon bits. 
  2. transfer the dough to wax paper. if the dough is sticky, use additional oat flour. roll the dough to a 1/4" thickness and use cookie cutters to shape each treat. transfer the the treats to a non-stick baking sheet. 
  3. bake the treats for 35 minutes until golden brown. allow them to cool at room temperature before storing them for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. 
you might not be able to tell - but the treats are hattie approved! she's pretty excited about the basket as a whole! :)

of course kroger has everything you need to fill up an easter basket for your human counterparts too! for more easter basket ideas including great DIY easter projects - check out the kroger pinterest board and their Facebook page.

the first 3 months: our top 10 must-have baby items

i had a serious case of insomnia during my second trimester with eleanor. i spent countless hours during those sleepless nights researching for our registry. at first, i googled "the minimalist mom" and "baby basics" - limiting our list to only absolute must-haves. (we do after all have zero closet space in our 100 year old home.)

3 months in ... i'll admit that while some items seem so ridiculous (hello, peepee teepee) there are some "convenience" baby items that are worth every penny! so here are 10 items that wade and i agree are must-haves for the getting through the sleep-deprived first 3 months:


we registered for a 3-pack and then within the first week bought a second pack. our girl and spit-up go hand in hand! and my goal is to keep our baby items as nice as possible for baby #2 and #3. so i place one of these liners under eleanor when we're doing tummy time or when she's chillin' on her  lounger and even in her bassinet at night. basically where you find eleanor - you find a liner!
i'd like to think that we opted for cloth diapers & wipes and reusable nursing pads bc we're so green. but reality - we're cheap! these definitely have saved us $$ but also saved the ladies! i found the disposable pads incredibly irritating.
babies long for the good ol' days. the tight quarters of the womb! and a little fun fact - bc their brains continue to develop while they sleep, they only reach r.e.m. sleep during their first 4 months. while wade and i like to compete to see who can do the tightest swaddle - eleanor is the jail break queen. enter mama's best friend, velcro! we've loved this sleepsack during the winter months (and the summer infant swaddleme as our nights warm up a bit).
i might do a whole post on our cloth diaper routine. i wouldn't say we're experts - as we're still thankfully only experiencing breastmilk poo! but we've got a pretty dang good routine down! and we love our ubbi diaper pail. it's a bit of a splurge at $79.99 - but it's made from steel, people! and it's super narrow so we stuff it with a wetbag and it fits discreetly between our toilet and the shower in our tiny bathroom. smelly diapers - bring it on!
there is nothing more heartbreaking than a bright red baby bum. eleanor's first diaper rash was about a week after we brought her home and it was horrible. since we were cloth diapering we were limited to brands that wouldn't effect the wicking power of our inserts. this balm is proof that good things come in small packages. it battles diaper rash - but also soothes scrapes, burns, bug bites and other skin irritations - including thrush! win!
we just discovered these amazing bibs thanks to a mom friend within the last couple of weeks, and we're waiting on a few more to come in the mail. i love the massive bean shape for maximum coverage, and the muslin is extremely absorbent. but my ultimate favorite thing about these burp clothes is that they snap into a ginormous bib. i snap it on - and then sling the bib over my shoulder so nothing can slip between the two of us!
another cloth diapering must at the munday household. we recently took a weekend trip without our sprayer - and it made us appreciate it all the more. and once you get the hang of it - you learn to tame the water pressure.
we were gifted the most beautiful bassinet as our first baby gift for eleanor. i remember thinking it was gorgeous but definitely didn't make the "minimalist baby" list. co-sleeping wasn't an option for us - wade and i are deeeeeep sleepers. but as new parents - i don't think we would have slept the first few weeks without having eleanor at arms length. it was comforting to be able to reach out and place a hand gently on her and feel the rise of each little breath. heck - it still is. we've begun to discuss when we should move her out of our room. today i am thinking by the time she is 16. ... yes, for sure by 16. ;-)
SOCK! a mommy 4-letter word. we've tried them all. i swear i can put her left sock on and by the time i'm done putting her right sock on, ol' leftie is dangling by a pinky toe. how does she do it?! we picked up these little booties a few weeks ago - and victory! we can go a whole day with warm tootsies!!! we've bought 2 more pairs - as these are a newborn must in our drafty old home.
last but not least. as a working mom (i start back in the office tomorrow) who has breastfed exclusively thus far, getting eleanor to take a bottle was an absolute must! these naturally shaped bottles with soft skin-like feel are ideal for breastfed babies. at 95th percentile weight and height, our eleanor isn't one to skip a meal - and thankfully she took to these bottles without hesitation as well.

okay mama friends - what am i missing? what makes your list of 0-3m must-haves?

Eleanor Jane - 2 Months

 * 12 lbs 13.5oz (90-95%) + 23 7/8" (90-95%) + 15 1/8" head (45%). 
5 shots and 1 oral vaccination (3/11/14 - 2 month appt)
aka - the worst day of mommy & daddy's life thus far!!!
* such an easy, happy baby! lucky us!!!
* HUGE smiles especially early in the morning, when we sing to you and
when you catch mommy's eye while nursing ("get busy!")
* happy, happy, happy squeals - our favorite!
* so long, 0-3m pants - hello, big ol' cloth diapered bootie!
* hello tongue + bubbles
* lots of eye contact
* mommy & daddy should have taken up stock in burp cloths + bibs. 
you are still the spit up queen!
* fist chewer
*eat - play - sleep. trying to establish a routine.
* sleeping approx 10pm to 5am most nights w/ 1 quick midnight snack
* umbilical cord hernia remains - but tear duct & milia are almost completely healed!
* 1at birthday party for a friend (3/8/14 - emmie ryan dixon turned 1)
*1st mini-vacation (2/28-3/2/14 - gatlinburg w/ the campbells)
* hey there, blue eyes! will they stick around and be as blue as daddy's?
* 1st bottle (during mommy/daddy's 1st date since baby)
grandma lora & papa jim visited & babysat (2.15.14)
* early morning naps on your tummy + afternoon naps in the moby or ergo

Eleanor Jane - 1 Month

* nurse every 3 hrs & occasionally one 4 hr feeding at night
* a very noisy little lady - grunting and groaning
* lots of gas makes you squall (and makes mommy cry too)
* but ... gas also means lots of smiles!
* more smiles when you pop off in a milk coma
* no more newborn clothes! gained 1lb 4oz by our 2 week appointment. 
(1/28/14 - 8lbs 11oz & 22" long)
* hiccup queen (just like when you were in mommy's tummy)
* milia on the tip of your nose, a little hernia behind your belly button
and an under-developed tear duct - all should heal naturally
* a few walks and quick outings (wags & whiskers w/ hattie, portland brew coffee shop)
cabin fever - it has been a very cold month
* naps on your lounger, in your moby wrap while mommy works around the house
and on daddy's chest at night
* making eye contact
* sleep at night in your bassinet beside mommy & daddy
* switched to cloth diapers (2/5/14)
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