July 18, 2017

Palm Print Fever!

Woah Mama! The whole “Body after Baby” experience is quite an interesting thing to go through. It’s been getting close to three months since Lola was born and it’s still a process everyday of getting used to myself in a new way. I definitely understand the impatient feeling of wanting to be back to your pre-baby body, like, yesterday, but I’m realizing that it took nine months to make that baby and all the body changes sooo it’s going to be a bit before things seem familiar again. ANNND before you say it, I’m also aware that some things will never be the same and that’s part of the joys of motherhood. Like, I’m pretty sure I just have a completely different belly button now aside from all the breast changes that come with breastfeeding…file that under the “self sacrifice” category, right?? Anyways, as it gets closer to the three month postpartum mark I’m starting to feel a bit more like myself and it’s been helpful and just plain nice to have gone out a few times feeling relatively cute (like our anniversary date night a few weeks ago). I’m still pretty obsessed with the high waist trend and I think I’ll be carrying that on for a while to help my core feel more supported as my insides knit back together.

             Sunnies/GAMT, Top/ROMWE, Bag/Similar, Jeans/Asos, Shoes/Steve Madden

I basically love a palm print in just about anything wearable (like this dress and my top above) and it feels like such an appropriate nod to summer as well. Lola is still in newborn sizes of things for the most part so it’s hard to find cute outfits that are small enough for her but I’m excited to Mommy/Daughter the crap out of some outfits later….can’t wait!

July 8, 2017

My Newborn Essentials List!

Man, if I’ve learned anything over the past few months it’s that those little babies need a ton of stuff! I definitely spent a crazy majority of my time being pregnant trying to find the best items in each category (although it’s so hard to know what you need or don’t need when you haven’t taken care of a newborn before). I loved hearing and reading about what other people preferred to use so I thought I’d share my list with you now that I know what items we really use and like the most…

While I do still want to get into the cloth diaper arena, I looked for a while to find a quality disposable diaper that was more eco-friendly without a lot of the additives in regular diapers and these Bambo brand ones seem to be great so far. We do have a lot of blowout diapers that go up her back but I think that’s due to more to her having a lot of really thin poops than the diapers (we’ve had that happen in the Honest brand as well). I also have been really happy with these wipes as well and I love that they are basically just water (although I really wish they were the pop up dispenser style of wipes). This diaper pail is awesome and can be used for cloth eventually too- traps all the smells completely! Definitely make sure to put a waterproof pad under or on top of your changing pad to save the pad from blowouts and the occasions when they decide to pee again as you’re reaching for their clean diaper.

I tried a few pillows the first month and while I really wanted to like this organic one it just didn’t work for me. I feel like breastfeeding pillows are so personal and everyone has different needs but I remembered that the birth center recommended this one so I decided to give it a try and it’s definitely my favorite one so far. I also like this nipple butter which is so important to have, especially in the beginning when feedings are basically around the clock. It’s a good idea to have a handheld breast pump to take on trips (I used in the car a few times to make a bottle so we didn’t have to stop to feed her) or stash in your bag if you’ll be away from Baby for a long time. I use it at home as well when I don’t feel like having to clean all the electric pump parts (although this electric pump has been great so far although you’ll for sure want one of these hands-free bras when you use that). And for bottles I’ve been using both the Dr. Brown and these glass AVENT bottles to feed her pumped milk as needed, but lately we are using the Dr. Brown more since she tends to gulp the AVENT bottles way too fast (although I would prefer them otherwise since they are glass and not plastic). I was so happy to find this white “grass” drying rack too since it disappears into my counters way better than the green would and this bottle brush has a stand and a mini brush in the handle for bottle nipples which is nice as well. I wasn’t sure if I would use a bottle sterilizer but I think it’s really worth it- I hate doing the whole pot of boiling water thing and it dries everything too which is great. I wear deep v-neck tees and nursing tanks a lot for easy nursing access during the day and night.

Blankets and cloths:
I really do feel like you can’t have too many swaddle blankets (Kip + Co has really cute ones too) and we have them spread all over the house and in her car seat and diaper bag. You just never know when you’ll want one for a bit of extra warmth (the AC is always cranked in places during the summer) or just to wrap Baby in or lay her on for a minute (although I think it’s better to have a thicker blanket for tummy time). I also have a million of these burp cloths laying around since you reeeeally want to have one nearby at all times.

Bath Time:
I love these baby washcloths for bath time (super soft!) and this hooded bear towel is sooo sweet and soft too. I don’t always use soap for baths but I’ve been using this unscented Dr. Bronner baby soap every other bath and this baby bathtub fits in our double sink as well so I can bathe her standing in the sink if my back is tired or place it in the larger tub and use less water than if I filled the whole tub. And in the personal hygiene category, I like these baby nail scissors rather than clippers. I use them while I nurse since her hands are relaxed then (otherwise they are always in little tight fists).

So far she is sleeping in our room in a DocATot which is probably one of my top items from this whole favorites list. She likes sleeping in someones arms the best so I this was a good transition since it has the cozy sides that she can feel around her kind of like a hug. It was literally the only thing she would sleep in for the first 6 weeks so it’s totally worth it to me. We do both swaddling (I like these and these) and white noise while she sleeps. I like that machine a lot because they use the same one at the yoga studio I go to and the wave mode sounds pretty realistic to me if I ever want to use that sound.

Bouncers and Swings:
We’ve been getting her more used to this bouncer and it’s great option to place on the kitchen floor while I unpack groceries or have next to the couch while I watch tv and interact with her. I think it’s a better bouncer for kids that are a few months old since their movement is what bounces the unit so it doesn’t do much if you place a tiny newborn in it that just sits there…at first she hated the swing we bought her (and I didn’t want to buy one because I think they are rather ugly) but she’s such a clingy baby and I was desperate for something she would sit in for a bit and soooo I bought a swing! It is nice that it can turn facing the front while it swings or the side because there are definitely times where she’s over facing one way and if you turn the seat you can get some more time out of it before she gets bored.

I find the sling wraps a bit hard to figure out so I’ve been using an Ergobaby wrap and it’s a lot easier to get on and off and really comfortable on your shoulders and back. When she was really tiny she felt a bit loose in the Ergo, even with the newborn insert, so I did use this wrap while she was really small.

Stroller and Carseat:
I wanted this Nuna PIPA carseat because it’s really safe and also one of the lightest carseats on the market for my rather weak arms (I’ll build those Mommy muscles, right?). I got the Nuna MIXX stroller that goes with it and I’ve been really happy with it so far. It’s got a big basket under the stroller, it’s a really smooth ride (and I can steer it with one hand), and folds easily. We have only used it with the carseat so far (will use the regular seat as she gets bigger) and the adapters for the carseat are just OK to be honest (it’s a little hard to get the carseat off the stroller easily) but overall it works really well and looks pretty damn sleek too. It’s really helpful to have a mirror in the car to see her while driving and we’ve used this cute portable white noise machine a lot too in the car (and for naps at our destination sometimes as well).

I know it can feel like you are buying a TON of stuff for a new baby, and it’s mostly because YOU ARE!! I definitely went off of recommendations from friends when making my registry or trying to find a better option if something didn’t work well so I hope this list has been helpful for you too. Let me know if you have a favorite that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about it!

July 6, 2017

One Day At A Time

Greetings from Babyland! It’s amazing how your life really does go from being all about you to being…well…very little about you. I know we’ll get some of that independence back as she builds up her own reserve but right now it’s Lola’s world and we are just living in it. Although it’s still the toughest thing I’ve ever done we are getting some of the sweetest smiles every day now and that actually does help a lot. I feel like one of the reasons it’s so hard at first is that you get very little back from Baby until they can start to communicate and engage with you a bit more (laughs, smiles, coos, etc.) so sometimes it can feel like you are on the hardest babysitting gig ever for a cute loaf of baloney until those developments kick in. She’s starting to be able to sit by herself a little bit more in a swing or on a blanket which is helpful. Still no longer than 5-10 min max but it’s a start from crying immediately every time you put her down. Girlfriend loves to be held!

Top/Shein, Bag/Shein, Shoes/Similar, Shorts/Similar, Sunnies/Similar
I posted on Instagram that it’s so hard to be kind to myself in this season of life and extend the necessary amount of grace, but I’m trying the best that I can. Sometimes that may mean buying myself my favorite flowers, painting my nails, taking a soak in the bathtub during a nap, splurging on a new clothing item that make me feel better about all the post-partum body changes (these jeans are my favorites right now and I’m awaiting these shoes anxiously), or just forgiving myself for snapping at Todd ten times an hour. I’m far from behaving how I want to all the time (extra shoutout to hormones here!) but it’s good to remember that it’s the overwhelming situational stress that’s behind those snaps and my real personality is still buried in there somewhere.

One thing that makes life a lot easier is using a carrier when I want to be hands-free. Ergobaby asked if I wanted to try their limited edition Keith Haring carrier and it has turned out to be a lifesaver. Todd and I both use it around the house as well as for outings to the park, coffee shops, etc. and I know I’ll use it a lot once I can muster the courage to go grocery shopping with Lola (that will be a big accomplishment for sure!). The whole thing is basically adjustable from every angle so it fits your body really well and the padded straps and weight distribution make it easy on your back too. I’m obsessed with this black and white Haring print and it goes with everything since I wear black and white 99% of the time anyways…

Our friend Rachel made us the sweetest pastel rainbow quilt (so cute!) and we’ve been using it and this adorable swan playmat for tummy time. She likes when you lie down next to her to keep her company…We also took her on her first big trip this past week to Pittsburgh to see my family and friends. We drove Todd to his Mutemath show in Columbus first so Lola got to be at her first concert with Daddy, but as you can see above, she was not in the mood for it or her baby headphone ear protection either. She was actually already extra fussy before the show and long after so I think she just wasn’t feeling well. We spent the majority of the show in the green room or walking the adjacent parking lot to try and calm her down- poor baby!! It will be a few months before she goes to her next one so maybe she’ll be in a better mood then. We also got to take her to the pool with my parents and grandma and that was so fun to see her in her little swimsuit and her reaction to the water. She likes her baths so I thought there was a good chance she would like it, and while she was a little skeptical, she lasted about 15 minutes before crying so I would call that a success! I actually just bought this inflatable pool for our yard to try swimming at home so I’m excited to try that with her too.

All and all, we are still adjusting to so many things but I’m trying to remember and store up all the sweet little moments that are a part of everyday as well. Even in the hardest times it’s good to remind myself that we are so lucky overall and babies don’t keep forever so I have to get in those fleeting moments while I can…

June 14, 2017
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Postpartum Shopping Wishlist

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There are SO many new things to get used to in the 4th trimester of pregnancy besides having a new baby in the house. The mood swings, the tired days and nights, and the changes in your body as you recover from the 9 months you just spent pregnant as well as the birth experience. I’d been too busy at the end of my pregnancy to think about what I really wanted my postpartum style to be afterwards but I figured there might be some changes to what I would normally choose based on how my body looked and felt after baby. Now that I’m on the other side of that, I have been noticing that I want more of certain types of styles based on how I’m feeling and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite finds with you so far. I’m a big fan of tall heels but if we are out with Lola I’m a little uncomfortable carrying her with shoes that high so I’ve been wearing shorter chunky-heeled strappy sandals instead. They are perfect because I get a little height and still feel a bit more put together than a flat sandal but I don’t worry about tripping or falling if I’m holding her. I’ve also decided that high-waisted shorts and jeans are definitely the right move for me for this season of life with the postpartum belly- they are like wearing a support girdle if you get a good fit and they help define more of a waist as well (I wore this support girdle for a month after birth, so helpful, and I’ve been wearing this one out since it’s much slimmer under clothing). Since I’m snapping up high-waisted bottoms, I’ve been looking for cute crop tops as well and I love the tops that have knots tied in them (or I just tie one myself if it’s a longer shirt). A few button-up shirts seem like a good idea for nursing access (those can be easy to tie into knots as well and make them into crop tops) and I’ll always love easy casual dresses and jumpers for summer. Thankfully, I know that accessories like fun sunglasses will still fit me just right and I thought a small cute fanny pack might be good to take some essentials in when I don’t want to take my whole purse and the diaper bag. I’ve managed one trip to the mall so far and while it was more exhausting than usual to be sure, it felt really good as well to get a few items that made me feel cute and like my old self again. Gotta get that mojo back one day at a time!

June 10, 2017

Family (of 3) Photos!

Just wanted to share some sweet family photos we took now that we are a family of 3—still so crazy to me! My gal pal Elsie came over to take some pics before Lola grows out of that newborn phase and I love how they turned out. Is there anything cuter than a newborn yawning?? I didn’t think so…                                                  Dress/ Forever 21 (similar here)
Isn’t she an absolute doll? She definitely looks more like Todd at the moment with her dark hair and blue eyes which is totally fine by me! The most “Laura” feature that she has so far is the way she constantly furrows her little brow to look worried all the time which is something I’ve been doing from birth as well—it’s written down in my baby calendar as proof! Can’t wait to see who she really looks like as she grows but I certainly won’t be mad if those pretty blue eyes stay that way!