My Top 5 for Him

Wah, wah, wah. I feel like I had to write this post because I did a top 5 for her. Boys clothes. The no-fun, non-creative, can’t-find-anything-unique gender. The way I see it, with my bow, I can be all sorts of creative. I can find the most ridiculous bows or dress her up in sparkly tutus, and it can still be fashionable and cute. With the bruises, I feel like I basically have to dress them like mini-men. To get my inspiration, I usually just think about current trends for my husband’s generation and look for replicas in mini sizes. I’m pretty traditional when it comes to the boys too. My absolute favorite colors to dress them in are navy blue, red, and grey or white (hence the reason we have themed outfits for Memorial day, Fourth of July [well the whole month of July, really], and Labor Day…no matter what). For other colors, I tend to stay plain and simple with olive greens and baby blues and sometimes the occasional masculine pink or purple. And every now and then I’ll throw in a pop of neon colors. We’re also at the age with Luca where he wants to pick his own clothes, so he almost always insists on comfy pants. Hence owning every pair of sweatpants and joggers known to mankind. Here’s my top 5 picks for him:

  1. crewcuts by J.Crew. I love J.Crew for me and for Mike, so it’s logical I’d love it for the bruises. Simple, traditional pieces that can keep the boys looking cute but also comfy. One of the biggest benefits of crewcuts is J.Crew factory, because sometimes J.Crew/crewcuts can be pricey. I’ve found full wardrobes of THE SAME STUFF FROM REGULAR J.CREW on factory before and paid 1/3 of the price. The one drawback to crewcuts is it only starts at size 2T (they do sell baby clothes, but they are partnered with other brands), and in my experience, sizing tends to run larger (though there is shrinkage with washing and drying). I remember eagerly waiting for Luca to get to 2T just so I could start shopping here…and it was worth the wait!
  2. Gap. Gap/Old Navy made honorable mention for my top 5 for bows, but it comes in second for my top 5 for bruises for one main reason. Quantity and affordability. Honestly, I haven’t found a ton of brands I love for boys the way I have for girls. With Gap, I know their sizing like the back of my hand (they run big!), and I can rely on them for staples in colors that I like. The bulk of my boys’ wardrobe comes from Gap – any time I need to move Luca up a size, my base purchase is a haul from Gap.
  3. H&M. I love H&M for boys the way I do for girls. I like that most of their boy clothes have a European style and fit. Less baggy and a cleaner cut. Love their skinny jeans and jogger sweatpants especially. They have plenty of fun prints that still look sophisticated and stylish without looking to baby-ish or busy. My only problem with H&M is I can’t figure out their sizing for boys no matter how hard I try. Some of their stuff runs big, some of it true to size, and some of it runs small. When all else fails, err on the side of caution and buy big, so at the very least he can grow into it if it doesn’t fit right away.
  4. Burt’s Bees Baby. Also made the list for girls, and it’s on here for the same reasons. Great sleepers and casual wear for boys. I especially love their sweatsuits for boys, that usually come with zip-up hoodies and joggers. Remember, with BBB, the more washes, the softer so wash and dry as much as your little heart desires!
  5. Target (Cat & Jack). I almost exclusively shop Cat & Jack for the boys when I go to Target. Sometimes it feels like they throw their clothes away at the prices they list for. This is the brand I usually hit up when I’m interested in neon or a pop of color. What I also appreciate about Cat & Jack is they tend to run SMALLER. So if I have an abundance of crewcuts and Gap for the boys, I know I can offset the larger sizing with smaller sizing from Cat & Jack.

Honorable mentions for boys include L’ovedbaby, Nordstrom, Zara, Kyte Baby, and Kohl’s (bear with me on this last one before you LOL). I don’t shop L’ovedbaby as much for boys as I do for girls, but their sleepers were still mainstays in our PJ collection for baby boys. If you want to know when and why I shop Nordstrom, read “My Top 5 for Her” in the Bows section of this blog. I’ll just say ditto to that. I LOVE Zara. Like love, love, love it. But they are even more European than H&M, and so for that reason I mostly buy from them in person, where I can eyeball sizing and style better. (Side note: need this pandemic to end so I can hit up Providence Place Mall again!) I’m not as confident shopping from them online, which is why I put them as honorable mention rather than in my top 5. Kyte Baby just has the softest sleepers and onesies imaginable. Ok, and now Kohl’s. I rarely step foot in this store, but my husband loves it. I will say, they have a really good selection of Nike and Under Armour clothes for baby and toddler, and I like loading up on lots of these every summer. Highly recommend!

A note on L’ovedbaby and Kyte baby. Super gender neutral. Most of their items are either/or and it really doesn’t matter what gender you are shopping for.

**Please note, I am not employed by any of the above brands, just simply a mom on the internet sharing her opinion.

“But Mommy…” And Other Pet Peeves!

Last week was one of those weeks. You know, those weeks where everything your littles (and hubby?!) say or do irritates the daylights out of you. I’m pretty sure I can blame my week on my lack of sleep and thus short fuse, and when I make it through weeks like this it’s funny to look back on how laughable some of it was. I’m listing some of my bruises’ biggest pet peeves (specifically from last week) below.


Luca started this recently. He starts every sentence (even if it’s a simple statement, and not, in fact, in disagreement with something I’ve said) with this. “But Mommyyyy, when can we go to the playground?” “But Mommyyyy, I want to watch more games” (he calls youTube kids ‘games’). “But Mommyyy, you said I could have a snack.” I’ve started doing it back to him and he stares incredulously at me like he’s never heard it before, and like I’M the crazy one.

The “BUT WHY…”.

The classic 2-year-old discovering he can question his parents. I don’t even think I need to explain it. Let me just give you an example of a conversation from a day in the life of Dominic:

Me: “Dommy, it’s time to come inside for dinner.”

Dominic: “But whyyyyy?” with the biggest vocal fry you’ve ever heard (Howard Stern reference). Anyone else’s kid randomly start exaggerating everything they say so it sounds like they have an accent and adding vocal fry for emphasis?

Me: “Because it’s time to eat.”

Dominic: “But whyyyy?” With even more vocal fry this time than the first.

Me: “Because I said so.”

Dommy: “But whyyyy?!”

The Baby Voice

A classic, for everyone I think. Luca does it especially when he’s trying not to cry. It’s hard being the oldest in the house. The good news is this one’s easy to handle. I usually just say, “Try again like a big boy,” and he switches right out of it.

The Purposeful Underbite

Last summer, or maybe even last fall, Luca randomly started this underbite thing. He’d pop his lower jaw out so when he’d talk, play, or run around, he’d have this constant underbite and it would bug the crud out of me. Initially in the first few days I was concerned. I think I even called the dentist worried something was wrong with his teeth or jaw. (They laughed at me.) After a while, I’d see him do it and just scream, “Luca, TEETH!” and he’d know exactly what I was talking about while everyone would turn to me like “What??”

The Floppy Fish

I can. not. stand. the floppy fish during diaper changes. Luca never did it, but at times Dominic can be the floppiest of all. It ends up being the fight of my life, and usually by the end of it there’s poop on my hands, all over him, and the new diaper is hanging by a thread on his body while the old diaper is smeared into the playroom mat.

The Scooch

I don’t know if I spelled that right. But we call Luca the scooch sometimes. He’s got that “I know how to push your buttons and get away with it” personality. Totally takes after my husband. It’s no secret we’ve been struggling for a long time with Dominic’s physicality. He currently solves peer conflicts by hitting or biting, and his brother usually gets the brunt of it. But more times than not, if I happen to catch the lead up, I catch Luca doing something sneakily on purpose to egg him on. Poking him or pretending to bite him so that Dommy bites him back are usual suspects. We’ve called him “the scooch” or have said “you’re being a scooch” so many times now that he’s learned the context of it. He’ll even call Mike and I out when we annoy him. “Mommy, YOU’RE being a scooch!”

Guys…I could go on forever. There’s soooo many pet peeves of mine that I encounter on a daily basis. I think it comes with the territory of being type A and anal retentive. But you wanna know something? If there’s anyone who can be crowned the king of my pet peeves, it’s my hubby, Mike. I’m including him as an honorary bruise in this post. (Sorry, babe!)

The Never Put Things Back Where You Found Them

Because I’m type A and anal retentive, I’m over-organized to a fault. But I married the complete opposite of me. I’ve often wondered if he has undiagnosed ADD for several reasons, but the trail of breadcrumbs he constantly leaves behind everywhere he goes is a main suspicion.

Last week Tessa had another blocked tear duct. We keep the eye drops on hand because she gets them so often. Well, we lost the eye drops because the time before that Mike was the last one to use them and left them hanging around downstairs. You better believe any time I’d use them they’d be right back on her changing table where we keep all of her other supplies. Being home ALL THE TIME during this pandemic has exasperated this times 1000, and the good thing is once my frustration around said missing object is over with, we’re usually able to laugh about it.

The “Babe Where’s The…?

This one gets me. Every time. I’ll just provide an anecdote to illustrate and I think you will all relate. I need Mike to change a diaper for me because I’m wrapped up with something else for a minute, so as he gets up he immediately locks eyes with me and says, “Babe, where’s the wipes?” Meanwhile, the wipes are exactly where we always keep them. Right there on the coffee table in front of him, or in the diaper bag by the back door.

OR here’s another classic. *Husband starts to open fridge* Before he even gets the door open far enough to see what’s actually inside the fridge, he says, “Babe, where’s the ketch-up?”. And then he proceeds to search for the ketch-up (sometimes even saying “Babe, I think we need more ketch-up!”), when in reality, the ketch-up is staring front and center on the shelf back at him. I come over to help him out, take one glance, and immediately pull the ketch-up off the shelf and hand it to him. My mother-in-law and I have commiserated lovingly over this one before.

The “I’m just going to mow the lawn real quick!”

Ladies, I think you all know this one. It’s that mysterious one where all of a sudden the kids are all going nuts, you can’t make anyone happy, and the hubby decides it’s the perfect time to mow the lawn. “It’ll only take me 20 minutes, I swear!”

3 hours later…*husband re-enters house from “mowing the lawn”*

Me: WTF took you so long?????

Him: I noticed the weeds growing through the fence so I weed-whacked, and I really liked using power tools because I felt manly so I decided to cut down a tree and chop some wood.

Me: (To myself) It’s the middle of summer, why in g-d’s name do we need wood right now?. *Throws baby at hubby.* I’m going to shower (Because the shower is every mom’s safe-haven, right?).

What’s your biggest pet peeve, either little’s or partner’s? I’d love to hear your stories…a good laugh is good for the soul. Drop a comment below. 🙂

My Bruises

If anyone is wondering (I’m sure you’re not…you get the concept) why I coined them my bruises, it’s because I’m dealing with this 95% of my day. When I happened to snag this on camera today, it was all in good fun. But I’d say we run a 50/50 line there…one minute we’re best friends and the next we’re pure enemies.

COVID has been sucky from all angles. So I tell myself for my own sanity that I need to count my silver linings. One of them has definitely been these two becoming bonafide best buds. When literally the only peer you see for weeks on end is your two-year-old/four-year-old brother, you are forced to play together. We’re lucky these two have taken to it so well. I’ll take the endless bruises any day if this is the outcome.

I figure this is a good time to explain my two bruises, too. Because they couldn’t be more opposite. Luca is my first born, and with that came all the typical first born things. Yep, I coddled him, catered to him, and gave him everything he ever wanted. The endless and growing pile of crap in my playroom is testament to that. So inherently he’s the mama’s boy. He’s curious but cautious, likes to cuddle, and can turn on the fake whine or cry on a dime. He listens when I tell him no or ask for help. Dominic is the middle child, and with that came all things middle child. He’s a mischievous maniac that likes to solve problems with his fists or his teeth (gasp!). He’s bold and blonde and will probably be a little heartbreaker. He doesn’t listen when I tell him no or ask for help.

The last thing I want is for this blog to be a brag blog. But a little context never hurt. You’ll see the humor in future blog posts if you take the time to read this one!