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[ad] Today I am dreaming of Christmas parties. Anyone else? We’re only halfway through the month and we’ve already had more family gatherings than I can count with so many more to go. And Christmas parties in the Bartlett household means photos…lots of photos. But I just didn't feel very photo-ready thanks to my grays (and yes, I had A LOT of grays). So I picked up @zotosprofessional hair color at @sallybeauty and these days I'm feeling gorgeous, confident, and ready to take on the holiday photos. Today on the blog, I'm sharing how I get myself photo-ready as well as what I plan to wear to this year's Christmas party! #MyAgeBeautiful #sponsored #linkinbio
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[ad] Today I am dreaming...

I've been a bit MIA lately. Why you may ask? Well, because I've been half on the struggle bus and half working on a rather large project that I've had in draft mode for far too long. And I am SO excited about it. I literally woke up the other day and decided THAT was the day I'd get started on it and I've been hooked on it ever since. If you're a mom in Southern Maine, you won't want to miss this! So be sure to sign up for our email list via the link in my bio so you can be one of the first to know what's going on.
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I've been a bit MIA...

Well, it's officially the day Zack and I have been looking forward to for a couple of years now. While we've already unofficially been "moved on" from military life for a couple of months now, today it's official that Zack is no longer an Active Duty Marine and I am no longer a military spouse. The first big chapter of his adult life and our life together has officially ended. It's scary almost when you've been living with all the stability of a lifestyle for so long. A stable job, stable income, health benefits, a home. It's been a challenging couple of months as we get more settled here in Maine and figure out the next step for our little family. But I know we have so much to look forward to in the next year and it's refreshing to know we have the opportunity to start over. I am so proud of this guy and I can't wait to see what the next chapter of our life has in store for us. •
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Well, it's officially the day...

This mama is on the struggle bus today. This morning I spent over an hour searching for Allie's sippy cup of milk only to find it in the shower...where I looked 5+ times considering that's where she was playing while I got ready for the day. I then got the incorrect order from Dunkin and to make that even worse, it was pumpkin flavored...and if you know me, you know I cannot stand anything pumpkin flavored so I couldn't even suck it up and drink it (shoutout to @mwhited8195 for bringing me the correct drink order!). Nap time wasn't any better. A solid 40 minutes of crying before Allie finally went down...then she woke up 30 minutes later 🙄 And now I'm scrambling to get everything on my to-do list done so we can officially launch Blogmas tomorrow 😬 It's been a morning and I'm about ready for my own nap at this point. But at least it's Friday? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
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This mama is on the...

It's yet another snow day here in Maine. The last winter I spent here was in 2015 and we maybe had three snow storms all winter. This year, we've had 3-5 just in the last couple of weeks 🙄 I'm already homesick for beautiful and warm North Carolina summers 😔 anyone else here who hates winter? If you need us, Allie and I will be curled up inside with some movies and a never-ending to-do list. #bloggerlife •
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It's yet another snow day...

Blogmas starts in T-5 days! I've been working so hard on producing awesome Blogmas content these past couple of months so I'm super excited to finally start sharing it with you all this weekend. Today on the blog I'm sharing a quick breakdown of Blogmas 2018, what you can look forward to on Mainely Keating, and 25 blog post ideas for those of you who want to participate in Blogmas as well! You can find the link to the full blog post in my bio! •
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Blogmas starts in T-5 days!...

Baby Must-Haves & Regrets For 6-9 Months

Baby Must-Haves & Regrets For 6-9 Months | MainelyKeating.com

Welcome to the fourth installment in my baby must-haves and regrets series! If you’re new here, be sure to check out my posts for newborns, 0-3 months, and 3-6 months. Like the 3-6 month stage, the 6-9 month stage is full of exciting milestones. This is when Allie started eating real foods and crawling and pulling up on the furniture. She started saying dada at this age as well. It’s getting more and more exciting the older they get!

With this being such a big stage developmentally, it was a big challenging to narrow down my top must-have items. We didn’t put many items on our registry for this age because we use weren’t sure what she was going to need. Instead, we purchased things as we went so we didn’t have too many useless items for this age group. Most of what we used was a necessity for us.

My Top Must-Have’s

Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder. I picked these up a few weeks after Allie turned 6 months old and she LOVED them. We had a really hard time with solids with her (she literally had NO interest in solid foods whatsoever) so we tried these and they worked beautifully. You just put some fresh or frozen fruit in them and they act as a teether for them. It’s also been a great way to get her tasting solid foods without trying to force her to actually eat it. We tried strawberries the first time and she literally sucked all the juice out of them. She loved it. And it helped a lot in introducing her to actual solid foods.

Baby Trend High Chair. At this age, babies are starting to try more solid foods so a good high chair is a must. We have this one by Baby Trend and we really love it. I think my only complaint with it is that it takes up a lot of space when it’s opened up. But it has multiple levels and can be converted into a booster seat that attaches to regular chairs so I really like that for that reason. We ended up taking it apart and it saves a lot of space now. Plus it’s a nice neutral color to go with our home. I didn’t want something pink and patterned and obnoxious. So we like this one a lot.

Happy Baby Food pouches. These have been amazing in our home. Like I said earlier, Allie had a horrible time transitioning to solid foods. She just wasn’t a fan of them at all for some reason so it made it a bit challenging for us. Aside from the fresh food feeder, these food pouches are AMAZING. I think the reason they work for her is because it somewhat reminds her of a bottle. So she knows what to do with it as opposed to a spoon or putting food on her plate where she looks at me completely confused and unsure of what do and how to eat it. So we love these in our home. We still use them today at 13 months as on the go snacks.

Bibs. Lastly in the food-related items, you need to pick up some bibs! We went through about 3 bibs a day so about 21 or so every week. And I only do laundry once a week so it was important for us to have a lot. Now, at 13 months, it’s rare I ever put a bib on her. But for this age, they were very necessary!

Bathtub Mat. Once Allie started sitting up on her own, her old bath time seat just wasn’t working for us anymore. We had one by Summer Infant. It didn’t have any sort of seat belt and it was on a bit of a recline so baby could lay down and relax in the tub. But by 5 months or so, she started trying to sit up in it which would then cause it to tip forward. So it really wasn’t safe for her anymore. Instead, we asked for a bathtub mat for Christmas. It just sticks to the bottom of the tub and allows her to sit without slipping and sliding. It’s a much safer option for this age group and even now with her being a toddler.

Bath Toys. Speaking of bath time, Allie started to become really interested I playing in the bath tub at this age. So Zack’s aunt bought her a ton of cute little bath toys to play with. She has some farm animals and fishies and little cups. She loves playing with them in the tub and it keeps her entertained while I do her hair and wash her body and all that. So these are a huge hit!

Video Baby Monitor. We officially moved Allie to her own bedroom once she hit 6 months so from there, we really needed a good video baby monitor. Ours isn’t anything special. It’s just a basic one by Motorola. As long as you can see and hear your child, you’re good! So no need to get super fancy. If you have multiple children then you may want to look into one that toggles between bedrooms but when you have one little one, this one works just fine.

Baby-Proofing Essentials. Allie was crawling the day before she turned 7 months so everything in our home instantly became a hazard from there. While we certainly don’t go to extreme extents to baby proof our home, we do make sure that things like cords and hazardous materials are out of her reach. Another good thing to keep in mind is tall furniture as well as tv’s. This can and will fall if your child decides to try climbing on them and I promise you, they’ll try. Companies like IKEA provide customers with the necessary equipment to bolt furniture to walls which I think is fantastic! So while this may sound “silly” to some, it really is an important step to making sure your home is safe for a mobile baby and toddler. Lastly, keep in mind of things like pools, doors, stairs, drawers, etc.

Convertible Crib. Like I mentioned in our 0-3 month post, Allie slept in a pack n play for the first 6 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies sleep in the same room as their parents for the first 6-12 months so a full crib really isn’t needed before then. So at 6 months, we moved her to crib in her nursery.

Related: Our Review Of The Halo SleepSack

Halo Sleep Sacks. We stopped swaddling Allie at 4 or 5 months when she started rolling and from there, we didn’t swaddle at all. But by 8 months, we caved in and bought the Halo Sleep Sack because she just wasn’t sleeping well at night anymore once she hit 6 months old. This sleep sack allows her to move around freely, but it still keeps her warm at night and gives her the feeling of being swaddled. So we love these!

My Top 6-9 Month Regrets

While I had some products I absolutely loved for this stage, I also had some products that were a complete waste of money in my mind. Now not all moms agree with me on these items and that’s totally fine! But for my daughter and our family, these items just didn’t work out for us.

Activity Table. This is a great product concept-wise and Allie loved it so much. BUT it’s just not well thought out whatsoever. Allie was at the age where she was pulling up on everything and this table is cheap plastic and weighs next to nothing. So the moment Allie puts any pressure on it, it topples over. It’s smacked her it the face way too many times. So unfortunately, we had to take the legs off it and just let her play with the top of it instead. She definitely didn’t like it quite as much, but safety-wise the table itself just wasn’t a good option.

Baby Bullet. I was really excited about the Baby Bullet and ours has never been touched. We actually just sold it last month in a yard sale. I decided after Allie was born that I wanted to try to go with baby led weaning as opposed to purees and then we started using the food pouches because it was the only way she’d eat solids. So honestly, we just never had a use any sort of baby food making machine.

What were your must have’s and regrets for this stage?

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XOXO
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