Things to Do Before Baby Arrives Checklist

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things to do before baby arrives checklist

The Pregnancy Diaries…

The third trimester. UGH.  The THIRD trimester.  All of you mamas know what I’m talking about. The trimester that seems to last 3,000 days.  And here I am, smack dab in the middle of it – 36 weeks and counting – which inspired this things to do before baby arrives checklist post!

There’s something about hitting that 36th week that inspires major excitement (and minor panic) – baby is coming – SOON!!!!

Which means there are lots of things to do before baby arrives. Gulp.

Whether it’s your first or third, there is always SO much to be done to prepare.  We’ve already talked about that crazy little phenomenon called “pregnancy brain,” right?  So this is why lists are so important to me…and most pregnant moms I know.

Whenever I feel myself getting overwhelmed at how much still needs to be done before baby girl comes, I make a checklist.  On the flip side, these lists you make can also cause you to feel overwhelmed, so try to take your to-do tasks in stride, and ask for help when you can! Here is my things to do before baby arrives checklist. If you have anything to add, please comment below!

Things to Do Before Baby Arrives Checklist

1. Finish the baby’s room.

2. Buy any other baby items you may still need.

3. Decide on cord blood banking and initiate the process, if you decide to do it.

4. Make sure the baby’s car seat is assembled and cleaned, and practice installing.

5. For that matter, install any other mandatory baby item that may need more attention that just washing and folding.

6. If you are going to give sibling gifts (from the baby to the big kids), buy and wrap with a card.

7. If you plan to order a breast pump through your insurance company, call and get the information – order (many insurances now cover breast pumps!).

8. Research and purchase nursing bras, if you are planning to nurse.

9. Wash newborn clothing, blankets, sheets, liners, changing pad covers, etc.

10. Finish any baby gift thank-you notes to friends and family.

11. If you plan to take professional newborn pictures, research photographer options and prices, and make a tentative appointment.

12. If you plan to send birth announcements, pick out the baby announcement design you like, budget for it, and draft your wording – so that when baby is here and you’re sleep deprived and recovering, you already have your card picked out (and you just have to insert the birthday, weight and length).

13. Educate yourself on your company’s policies for maternity leave, meet with HR, fill out any necessary maternity leave paperwork in advance, discuss your plans with your boss, and get as organized as possible (especially for when you are absent).

14. Look up your medical insurance information and make sure you are educated about when you sign up baby for insurance (and the timeframe you have to do so).

15. Fill out any hospital/birthing center paperwork you can, in advance, and send it in.

16. Discuss any questions you have regarding your ideal birth experience with your doctor or midwife, and finalize your ideal birth plan.

17. Talk to your close family and/or friends about how they can best support you during and after you give birth – i.e. have you and your spouse/partner decided if you’d like people at the hospital? Are you up for guests at your house after you get home (to visit the baby)?  Will you need help with meals? Your big kids?

18. Pack your hospital bag.

19. Make (or confirm) any final childcare arrangements for the big kid(s) while you’re giving birth.

20. Stockpile diapers!

21. Breathe!

Any other mamas out there want to chime in?  Any things to do before baby arrives items I missed? Please comment below!

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2015 OC Fair Ticket Giveaway

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2015 OC Fair Info

It’s here! It’s here!

Today is OPENING DAY of the 2015 OC Fair, themed “One Big Party,”celebrating it’s 125th year in Orange County so gear up for an extravaganza of food, rides, entertainment and fun at one of Orange County’s favorite family events.

The OC Fair is open Wednesdays through Sundays today through August 16th, 2015.

OC Fair Ticket Giveaway!

Yippppeee!!! I have a family four pack of tickets for OC Fair Admission and Austin Mahone/ Kalin and Myles concert in the Pacific Amphitheater on Sunday, August 16th at 7:30pm. Enter below!

Ways to Save Money at the OC Fair

We all know how much we love the fair, and how quickly things can add up to make it an expensive outing for a family. However, there are ways you can save money, here are some of the OC Fair discounts offered.

Opening Day:

Friday, July 17, Noon-1 pm: Free Opening Hour, FREE admission & parking for everyone

Daily Discounts:

Active Military & Veterans
Free admission for active-duty military and veterans with appropriate military ID (DD214, etc.) Not valid for spouses or dependents.

Read & Ride
Bookworms ages 5-11 can read 2 books to earn 3 free carnival rides. Click here to download the book report form. Completed book report forms can be redeemed for ride tickets at the Centennial Farm Information Booth during Fair hours. Tickets are valid July 17-August 16, 2015 only. Official OC Fair Read & Ride Form must be used in order to participate in program.

Super Pass
Enjoy 23 days of Fair fun, food and more with a 2015 OC Fair Super Pass.

We Care Wednesdays:

FREE admission and one (1) free carnival ride per person each Wednesday with appropriate donation (donation changes weekly.)

Food Drive – July 22, Noon-3 pm
FREE admission with donation of 5 cans of food

Children’s Book Drive – July 29, Noon-3 pm
FREE admission with donation of 3 new or gently used children’s books

Clothing Drive – August 5, Noon-3 pm
FREE admission with donation of 5 new or gently used clothing items

School Supply Drive – August 12, Noon-3 pm
FREE admission with donation of NEW school supplies valued at $5 or more. Receipt required.

$30 Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristband

Enjoy all the rides you can handle for one price plus 2 free games. (Sold until 5 pm. Valid until 8 pm. Required Fair admission sold separately.)


Kids Day
Children 12 & Under FREE Fair admission All day.

$30 Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristband
Enjoy all the rides you like for one price plus 2 free games. (Sold until 5 pm. Valid until 8 pm. Required Fair admission sold separately.)


Seniors Day (60+)
$2 discount on Senior admission plus FREE Ferris wheel and merry-go-round rides all day

$2 Taste of Fair Food
Enjoy $2 samples of select Fair treats. Click here for the $2 Taste of Fair Food List.
Valid Noon-4 pm

$2 Rides and $2 Games
Rides and games are only $2 each in the Main Carnival and Kiddie Carnival.
Valid Noon-4 pm

Saturdays + Sundays

Rise & Shine
Early admission pricing every weekend of the Fair
$3 general admission for everyone
10 am – 11 am
Discounted tickets are sold until 11 am and must be use by Noon on the day of purchase.

FREE Off-Site Parking (Weekends Only)
Free parking and shuttle service is available on Saturdays and Sundays from the Experian parking structure located off the Bristol Street exit of the 405 Freeway. Follow the signs to “Experian.” The shuttle operates from 10 am-1 am Saturday & Sunday only.

Things to Do at the OC Fair 

There are so many things to do at the OC Fair, the question becomes, what is there not to do at the OC Fair? Visit the Things to Do page for a full list of attractions, entertainment and special events.

Hooray! It’s a OC Fair Ticket Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a family four-pack of tickets to win a family four pack of tickets to the Austin Mahone/ Kalin and Myles concert in the Pacific Amphitheater on Sunday, August 16th at 7:30pm and four free Fair tickets for the same day. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Seriously Amazon?

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[Links in post are Amazon affiliate links]

I posted yesterday about the highly publicized Amazon Prime Day which was touted and marketed by Amazon to be “Better Than Black Friday!”

I am such an Amazon Prime fan that I felt compelled to do a post yesterday about Amazon Prime Day in the hopes that I could also share these amazing, “Better Than Black Friday” deals with you.

As a shopper, I was also fired up to go online and see all the amazing “Better Than Black Friday” deals that I might be able to take advantage of.

What a disappointment!

Did you guys think the same thing?

First off, I found it to be very confusing.

And then when (I guess) I found the Amazon Prime Day deals, they were things that (to me) were completely random.

So I did not buy any deals on Amazon Prime Day.

Did you?

I am still an avid Amazon Prime fan, but to Amazon Prime Day, I give it a two thumbs down.

What were your thoughts? Did I miss something? Anyone get a great deal?

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If They Can Do It …

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I read a recent article in Boston Magazine on Parenting Spoiled Kids and how to unspoil your child…fast. One psychologist’s answer? Bring back the chores. Can I get an “Amen” sisters?!  It made me think about the chores we have in our house and the topic of getting kids to help out around the house.

getting kids to help out around the house

I took a parenting seminar last year based on the parenting with Love and Logic philosophy and one of the phrases in a video clip that stayed with me was on the topic of chores.  The founder was speaking about what it means to be a part of a family, and how every member should be accountable for pitching in to help in all the household tasks.

He said, “If they CAN do it, they SHOULD do it.”

Meaning, if a child is old enough and capable enough to help with a household chore – they should. It was like this lightbulb moment of for me. My girls are 6 and 9 and old enough and capable enough to do quite a lot.

Which brought me to the chore I wanted to tackle first. The dreaded laundry. 

I don’t know a mom out there that doesn’t hate the mountains of laundry that accumulates with a family. Just when one mountain is folded and ready to be put away, another load is going in. It’s endless!

And I was over it. They were old enough to do their own laundry.

Disclaimer: My kids do not own expensive clothes, so there are no pieces of clothing I would be devastated by if lost to a laundry mishap.

We had a little training session on how to do laundry and I walked them through the steps. My oldest can do the entire process.  Little one is still a little young for the washing and drying part, but she is can fold and put it away.

We picked a day of the week they wanted and that became laundry day.  They drag out their hampers and do their own laundry!  Then they sit and fold it together. Yes, it takes a long time, but they CAN do it.

Another disclaimer, I do not care how things are folded.

You have got to give up the control of it being done right.

If it gets done and back into their drawers or on hangers, that is all I care about.

And it is awesome.

The best part?

My oldest’s weekly laundry volume has been cut in half. She now knows if she wears an item of clothing for a short time and it is clean, she will put it back in her closet instead of the hamper.  I mean, the difference in laundry volume was shocking. But it makes sense right, if someone does it all for you, isn’t it easier to just throw it in a hamper?

And recently, I was going to get a load started for her while she helped me with something else, and started to separate the lights and darks, and she said.

“Mom, that’s not the way I do it.”

It’s faster to just wash the lights and darks together in one load, then I don’t have to wait. Hmmmm….I didn’t realize she had been doing this and newsflash….no colors bled and there have been no laundry mishaps to date.  Maybe mom learned something?

Overall, it has been really good for them (and me!)  My oldest has a sense of responsibility and accomplishment – I can see it in her face. Little one still whines and complains, but that is life. Sometimes I wish I could wine (oops, whine) and complain too while folding laundry.

But no one would care, I still have to do it.

Do your kids do chores? How do you handle chores in your house?

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Shindigz personalized party supplies is a company that wants to make your life easier.  They know how busy moms are and want to give you truly, a one-stop-shop for affordable (and also adorable) party supplies – everything you need for your next celebration.  Read on mamas, because I also have an exclusive Shindigz coupon code for free shipping to share with my readers!

Shindigz coupon code

For three weeks every June our household is one big non-stop celebration.  To kick off the party season, we have my oldest daughter’s birthday, then my husband’s, then Father’s Day, then my youngest daughter’s birthday all within 21 days.  Some years we will also have graduations mixed in. Oh my.

This year we had a particularly busy party season due to a home renovation project I am up to my ears in, so when Shindigz personalized party supplies contacted us about partnering on a blog post, the timing couldn’t have been better. My little one’s birthday was right around the corner and I had not done a thing for it!

I planned her birthday party at a venue where the food and beverages were included, so all I needed were my birthday party supplies.  Shindigz was the perfect site to get all of our party supplies. In fact, I was able to get everything I needed for our party without leaving my house! 

Rainbow Birthday Party Theme

I went on Shindigz and started looking at their adorable birthday party themes for kids and even though it was hard to pick one, these personalized rainbow birthday plates had me at first click.

As I started navigating through the options for a Rainbow birthday party theme, I was able to pick and choose from different patterns to put together a VERY cute table!

rainbow birthday party plate

I am always a fan of the personalized water bottle stickers, and loved being able to personalize these with a festive, “Morgan is 6!”  Even better, when they arrived, I gave my oldest daughter the task of putting them all on (that easy!)

personalized water bottle stickers

Because the plates were so colorful and festive, I went with solid colors for the table cover, napkins and plastic ware forks. And then I spotted the best thing ever…

They even carry party favors!

I love giving a non-candy favor and my girls love crafts so I was elated to find these rainbow with clouds sun catchers. Score! To make it even that much cuter, I got personalized rainbow party favor stickers to match.

And again, I gave little one the job of sticking them on the favors to save time.

rainbow sun catcher party favors

In the end I was able to order the table covers, napkins, forks, plates, water bottle stickers, table top decor, party favors and party favor stickers ALL WITHOUT LEAVING MY HOUSE!

No joke, this was my easiest party EVER!

Easy Funfetti Cake Recipe

Now that the venue was set, and party supplies were ordered, there was just one thing that needed to be taken care of –  the cake.

Sticking with the rainbow theme, I felt inspired to bring a  funfetti cake. Then I had a momentary lapse of sanity and thought, maybe I will ditch the box and attempt to make one on my own? For me, that is big. I am not a baker.

I found this easy funfetti cake recipe on Pinterest of course, and gave it a go.

And dare I say it actually turned out and was delicious?! Baking victory!

easy funfetti cake

Shindigz made party planning so easy I was able to focus on other things, like having fun, versus running around trying to get everything ready.

family My daughter had a rainbow-tacular 6th birthday!

Thank you, Shindigz for making it so special!

Shindigz Coupon Code 

Woot! Woot! For our Tiny Oranges readers, Shingdigz is extending a Free Shipping Promo Code for Orders Over $69 CODE: SHINDIGZ69

*To Receive Free Shipping on orders over $69, use Shindigz promotion code SHINDIGZ69 during checkout.

Discount applies to ground shipping orders being shipped within the contiguous United States only.

Cannot be used on previous orders or combined with any other offer.

Discount does not apply to customs, duties, or delivery surcharges. Offer expires on 10/1/2015 at 11:59 PM EST.

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