April 29, 2015

Baby J's Newborn Photo Session

J's newborn photos were taken in our home, ten days after he was born. It was the first day we were on our own- a four day stretch until my mom arrived. I was grateful for the company that morning, my friend, who personally knew a photographer and raved about her work, came together and spent several hours with us. They were so wonderful, Emily, the photographer, was a dream, and my friend was SO sweet to bring over several of her daughter's dresses for Miss A to try on. I thought I'd have more time to plan out her outfit, so I felt pretty unprepared, but she saved the day with many dresses and coordinating headbands to choose from.

I'm SO glad Miss A did so well. She was all smiles for the camera and excited to "help" out. J slept for most of the shoot, but he did wake up at the end and we were able to get some photos of his eyes open. I'm unbelievably happy with these pictures, I just adore them and know I will cherish them for years to come. I'm having a really hard time trying to decide which ones to frame!

Location: Our Home
Photographer: Carolina Light Waves
J was 10 days old, 4.7 pounds, 17 inches long
Miss A was 2.5 and 3 months old

April 27, 2015

Postpartum & One Month Favorites

I love reading about what other moms recommend for baby, as well as what worked well for them postpartum. I've been meaning to write this post up for a while, it took me all morning to do so! I hope to do these posts monthly, or every other month at least. Here is a list of six items that I could not have done without.

Sneak peek photo from our newborn session!

1. Aden & Anasis Blankets- There's a reason these blankets are a favorite of many moms. They are soft, breathable, and so versatile. I also love the cute patterns, we have some with stars, giraffes, and elephants. I used them in the very early weeks to swaddle J, as a burp cloth if there were no clean ones nearby, and as a car seat cover once we started venturing out of the house. I love them so much, I think they may be my favorite baby product so far.

2. Lansinoh Nursing Pads- Ah, leakage. The joys of breastfeeding. I used these last time I was nursing Miss A. I remember using them for a long, long time. I've stopped using them if I'm home and not planning to go anywhere, but let's be real- you don't want to be out and about when letdown happens unpredictably and you're stressed about leaking. These are a lifesaver, or rather, an embarrassment saver. It's a good idea to stock up on several boxes, and these would be a great gift to bring when visiting a new mom! 

I also have these nursing pads and used them at home in the early weeks. Unfortunately, I don't love them as much as the disposable ones, due to the fact that I feel like they show easily through my bra if I'm wearing something that is more form fitting. I don't know if it's due to the type of nursing bras I'm wearing (which I talk about below) but you can see lines through my shirt which drives me crazy. So, I wear them at home, which helps save on the disposable!

3. Halo Sleepsack- I loved these with Miss A and kept all of hers to use with J. They are so helpful once baby is able to ninja his way out of a swaddle. Especially now that J is getting stronger and stronger, the velcro keeps his arms pinned. I also like that you can use these once swaddle days are over as a wearable blanket with arms out. I will be getting more soon, J is about to grow out of his newborn ones! 

4. Earth Mama's Nursing Balm- Oh man, another lifesaver for the beginning stages of nursing. I didn't know this product existed until hearing recommendations about it from other mom friends. We were fortunate that J learned to latch as soon as we got home from the hospital, but his suck was so strong, that I developed blisters the second week. Ouch, talk about painful. I used this balm religiously, after every feeding, and loved it. It smells amazing (like chocolate), you can use it as a lip balm (which I did in the middle of the night for dry lips), and it's so soothing. I still use it if we've had a marathon nursing day and need some relief. I'd recommend this for every nursing mom! 

5. Motherhood Maternity Seamless Nursing Bras- It seems like every mom I've spoken to who nursed their first child bought all their nursing bras from Target. Now, we all know how much I love Target, but they fail in the nursing bra department. I threw out all my old bras because they did not hold up, the cups were all misshapen, and the overall quality just isn't great. I wanted to find new bras that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg and since J came earlier than expected, I didn't have the time to go out and search myself. Thank goodness for my mother in law, who I felt no shame in asking to go out and find some for me when we came home from the hospital. She bought me a few to try on and one of them was from Motherhood Maternity. I immediately fell in love. They are SO comfortable, with no unwire, adjustable cups and straps. I can't say enough about them. Sure, they aren't really flattering- but let's be real here, that is the last thing on your mind. You want comfort and ease above all else when you're nursing! 

6. NoseFrida- If you've followed me on IG (stillluckyblog), then you may have seen me post about a chronic stuffy nose. J developed what we thought was a cold his second week of life, except the "cold" never seemed to go away. After a visit with the pediatrician, an ER trip, and yet another doctor visit,  it seems we are dealing with a baby with small nasal passages and an unfortunate amount of mucous. Poor kid. The NoseFrida works so much better than the bulb syringe you are sent home from the hospital with. It will be very useful for future colds!

Other favorites include homemade meals brought over by friends, chocolate, nursing friendly tops, yoga pants, zip-up pajamas for J, Pampers sensitive wipes, and daily showers. :) What did you love postpartum, or for baby? 

April 23, 2015

What I've Learned in 7 Weeks...

It's okay if the bed never gets made. I could probably count on one hand how many times I've made the bed in the last seven weeks..4? 5?

A cleaning schedule is the only way anything is going to get clean around here. I have it written on my phone right now, maybe one day I'll get fancy, print it out, and tack it to the fridge. In the meantime I check my phone every day to see what needs to get done. It has really helped!

And sometimes the TV has to come on in order for said room/bathroom/laundry to be cleaned. If that doesn't happen, then I'll clean after one is put to bed and the other is content hanging out in the rock and play.

Cooking dinner alone with two kids is pretty much impossible. One will always need something. On Tuesday I made dinner at 2:00 when my husband was still home. Best decision ever.

A meal prepared by a friend is gold.

I will never get done everything that I want to in one day.

It gets easier! Yes. It's true. And what they say about your heart growing to love your second as much as your first...it happens.

Family is the best babysitter. 

Sleep is more important to me than anything else, so even though I'd love to stay up and watch TV, once the baby is down for the night, so am I. 

Nursing makes me hot. All the time. Sometimes I take two showers in one day, which, let's face it, doesn't happen every often. 

iPhones are a wonderful invention. So is dry shampoo.  

A clean kitchen feels like an accomplishment, as well as wearing make up, and wearing clothes other than pajamas.

It is really hard to make phone calls. I rarely have a hand free and someone always needs something!

Mom friends are a gift. The very best gift.

Life with two is crazier, busier, but also fuller. I can't imagine not having our little boy now that he's in our life. Dare I say I love it? :) Sure we're extra tired, sometimes crankier (all four of us), but we're also SO happy.  

Eventually I'll post a one month update- probably when he's already two months old, and our newborn photos! I did share a sneak peek on IG (stillluckyblog) a few weeks back, and I share photos almost daily of our days. IG is definitely easier to keep up with than the blog. 

April 16, 2015

Thoughts of a Sleep Deprived Mom

Sleep deprivation: a cruel form of torture administered by a small, tiny human. I wish, I really wish, I was one of those people who didn't NEED eight hours of sleep. I wish I could function on five, six, or even seven hours of sleep. I'm so not one of those people. I've always needed a solid eight hours- pulling an all nighter didn't happen until Miss A was born. Never did it in college, never in high school. I need sleep.

As we all know, the beginnings of life with a newborn is all about feedings and diaper changes. At six weeks old, we've had one four hour stretch of sleep (yay!), where I proceeded to wake up constantly thinking he was going to wake at any moment to nurse. Oh, body, how you torture me too.

Despite being so tired, this is nothing, I repeat, nothing compared to what I went through with Miss A. Girlfriend slept the ENTIRE day and was up the ENTIRE night. For months, despite all our efforts to flip her from day to night. You name it, we did it, and nothing worked. So she was up all night and I was a wreck. So. This seriously isn't that bad. I can handle this! Even still, it's amazing what sleep deprivation can do to you and I've started keeping track of the hilarious things that have crossed through my mind.

What day is it?
How is it already 11:00am? How is it only 9:00am?
Did I lock the front door?
Where did I put _________? (keys, wallet, my coffee, the baby's car seat, my phone
When did I last do laundry? 
I need chocolate, NOW.
I need more coffee.
Is it too early for wine?
We're out of wine. 
We're out of coffee.
After going to Target for just three items...I forgot the dishwasher detergent. Face palm.  
While peeling an orange... Where did the other half of the orange go? Oh, I ate it already.
While in the middle of an task... What was I just doing? 
Why am I in the pantry? 
Why is the fridge open? 
I didn't put detergent in the laundry...I didn't dry the laundry. 
What side did I feed him with last? (A hundred times a day I wonder this)
I'm SO hungry.

and a million other crazy things. 

And you know what else I've wondered...how did moms do it before iPhones? With my phone I'm able to "write" down things that I know I'll forget a second later all by talking to Siri. To get an actual piece of paper and pen? Ha. I'd forget where I put it or get distracted and never write anything down. Also, the ability to stay connected- to Facebook, to friends through text messages (forget actual phone calls right now), is amazing. We are so lucky to live in the age that we do. 

April 13, 2015

A Thank You to Mom

Last week was tough. My husband worked the entire week, including the weekend. He wasn't home most nights until after the kiddos were in bed. Dinner and bedtime alone kind of feels like running a marathon! He won't have a day off for another four days, but will be home every night for dinner. I'm pretty exhausted- I thought it was hard before with just one; now with double the work, it's a miracle I have any energy left to shower at night!

All this week I kept thinking about my own mom. She stayed home with my brother and I for almost ten years. Being a mom can be a thankless job. Is my two year old going to thank me for cutting the ends of her sandwich? Actually, she might thank me for that, ha! She is very polite when it comes to table manners, we scored on that one. But what about for keeping the house clean, making sure she has clean clothes to wear, searching for new toys and activities? All the little things she doesn't notice. Or even the bigger picture, staying home to be with her and her brother day in and day out.

I know it's only the beginning, I'm tired and cranky because I'm up several times in the night, I don't have a husband to turn to, let alone family. It's a season of life and it will pass quickly. This is what I tell myself when I just want a moment of silence and a chance to close my eyes. They will only be little once. I'll only feel this way for a short period of time. 

I've asked my mom lots of questions about when she stayed home- did you like it, did you miss working, were you ever bored. The answer is yes, yes, yes. But did she regret it? No. I have a newfound appreciation for what she did, for what every stay at home mom is doing. Hopefully one day when our kids are grown, married, with babies of their own they will pick up the phone and thank us for being there every single day. For giving it our all and doing the best we could. 

April 8, 2015

To Remember

The first few weeks of having a newborn are a blur. You're tired, exhausted, sore, achy, trying to survive from one day to the next. You want to remember every moment, which is hard to do when you're sleep deprived. Throughout this last month (yes, a month since J was born!), I've jotted down little things I want to remember, on my phone, on a notepad, in my journal. Sometimes we're still hit with the reality of having two- two kids. It was all we ever dreamed of, a boy and a girl (don't even ask me about a third yet) and we are honestly loving every second.

Before you shake your head at me and laugh, let me explain- we've had our families here for a month, so yes, we're definitely not in the thick of it yet. I haven't taken them out on my own. There's been someone to tend to Miss A at night if she wakes up. I've been binge watching Parenthood upstairs in my room for feeding sessions (thanks to my inlaws). It's kind of been like a mini vacation- no cooking, cleaning...so no, I have no idea what I'm talking about, ha! Ask me next week how it is having two kids and I may answer differently. ;)

Even still, this month with all its changes and challenges, has been an eye opener for me. Newborns change so, so fast. Toddlers change so, so fast. Since Miss A has been with her grandparents way more than she has been with us, I see what has she picked up from them, new sayings, new words, new mannerisms. It's really funny. She has absolutely LOVED having them here, as have I. 

So far today, on this cloudy rainy day, we've survived the night, morning, and lunchtime craziness. J is asleep in the Mamaroo, Miss A is sitting next to me watching a movie (my no nap queen, mama needs downtime somehow), and I'm going through all my notes to put them together. Let's face it- the second child will NOT get the same attention as the first, and that makes me sad, because I do want to remember and record everything like I did with her.

These are a few of my notes...

J is a better sleeper and eater. He makes little sounds like a dinosaur whenever you move him. He was seven pounds at his one month appointment. Miss A likes to sing to him when he's crying. She asks to hold him and kiss him everyday. She's obsessed with Cinderella and princesses. She wants to wear dresses daily. J smiles a lot in his sleep. He has big, curious eyes and loves to look around when he's awake. He figured out day and night wayyyyy before his sister did. He's been to the park and sat in his car seat for an egg hunt. He sleeps great in the rock n play and likes to be swaddle out night, with his hands touching his face. He hates diaper changes and being naked! I've been peed on several times already, we do so much laundry, he's one messy boy. ;)

It's been so fun seeing these small differences already between the two of them. I know there's going to be so much more. Is he going to crawl? Miss A was a scooter, she didn't crawl at all. What will his favorite foods be, favorite toys, songs? When will he get his first tooth? So many milestones ahead of us! I hope to remember it all.