Momming

Baby Numero Dos [3-6]

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So you’ve survived the 4th trimester. Congrats. Maybe you’re still in it and feel like you have been living under a poo and vom covered rock. I assure you, it gets better easier okay, well different!? You will sleep again. Promise. Here are my faves for surviving 3-6 months.

Love to Dream Swaddle Up 50/50. So our beloved Ollie Swaddle is outgrown in our house around 4 months. My boys are rollers. Sheesh. So I was super excited when I saw a friend raving about this transitional swaddle. It’s awesome. He can roll and use his hands, but it’s still nice and snug like a swaddle, what’s great is you can unzip the arms as they lose the startle reflex around 6-7 months and have a wearable blanket. Yay, safety first!

Zippered Pajamas. I HATE snaps. Like dude, when you’re changing 2 million(exaggeration) diapers a day, you need quick and easy access. FACT. My kids live in pjs until they start sitting up by themselves.

Bright Lab Lights. Perfect ambient light for your nursery. I am so so so happy I purchased these puppies.

PlayMat. Get a nice play mat. They will spend so much time under this thing, so much to grab and play with, plus it’s nice and soft. We purchased a nice one from Target with Roc, but just know there are so many cool options out there!

WubbaNub Pacis. Roc wasn’t a paci guy, but Felix most certainly is. I’ve tried a few now, but the wubba nubs just make it so easy. The paci stays in better and once they start to gain some of those fine motor skills it’s much easier for them to place in their mouth.

Brica Bathtub. This thing was a must with both boys. They both get nightly baths, not necessarily because they are dirty, but for a sense of routine and some calming. We use super gentle soaps by Honest and Tubby Todd so we don’t dry that sweet baby skin out!

Baby Carrier. So our trusty Ergo performance has treated us very well. It’s great for walks, hikes, trips downtown, but it does get pretty toasty and it’s not the most fashionable choice. Our Happy Baby wrap has me like *heart eyes emoji* not only is it super lightweight and comfy, it’s SO PRETTY. Majorly good choice.

More Coffee. Still self explanatory. Seriously, I’ve had 2 cups in the time it’s taken you to read this.

The Baby Whisperer Books. So anyone who knows me or has ever asked my Mom-ing advice knows that we are Baby Whisperer people. And I’m going to let you know a little secret. I HATED this method with Rocco, I was so resistant to doing the work. The Captain would get so mad at me, but I am 100% positive the reason it took Roc so much longer to sleep train was because I refused to get on track with the method. F-guy is already so so so much more independent, takes amazing naps, and is well on his way to sleeping through the night. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t foolproof, babies have bad nights, growth spurts, teeth, etc. But for the most part this plan helps you predict their behavior in the day and give them their best shot at a good nights sleep. More on this in another post coming soon.

So those are my biggies!!! We will have 6-12 month must haves soon!!!! How do I have an almost 1 year old!?!? Sigh. Tear.

If you love me let me sleep. 

So we spend a gazillion dollars a year trying to get babies to sleep. A GAZILLION (note: I completely made this up). But in truth, I can personally attest to how much time and money that can be spent on getting these boogers to sleep. You’re tired. GO. TO. SLEEP. It’s just not that easy, is it?? In my opinion, the first step is teaching good sleep behavior. End of story. If you know me, you know we swear by The Baby Whisperer in our house. The Captain will have more on that hopefully soon, but sometimes that doesn’t do the whole shebang. So I believe paired with the right aids you can and will achieve sleeping success.

Our babies have been pretty okay sleepers while swaddled, but as many of you probably know once they start to flip and need arms out it’s GAME OVER. So after swaddling they lose that tight comforting feeling. So they my boys constantly needed to be reminded we are there with them with reassuring words or a hand on the back or belly. Enter Nested Bean. These good folks have thought of everything. They have placed a small weight on their swaddles and sleep sacks to simulate your touch. Genius! Right?!

Well, I was skeptical because there was nothing to control Fbombs hands in the sack and even though he’s past the 6 month startle reflex, I was just scared anything would set him back. The 8 month sleep regression hit (and wasn’t the terror Roc’s was, probably because of stricter baby whispering), but once we saw the light at the end of that tunnel I started putting him in his Zen Sack. You guys. YOUS GUYS. I feel like lightening is gonna strike me as I type this. Weeks. Weeks and weeks of sleeping through the night. Ummmmm say what now?! 11-12 hours of sleep?!? I’m not making this up. I realize everything with babies is in seasons and it could all change tomorrow, but I mean, it can’t be a coincidence! I’m a believer.

Felix is a tummy sleeper from about 4 months, which I assure you is safe once your baby is able to hold their head up. Talk to your pediatrician for more information, I am not a doctor just an informed mama. Moving on, so I was thrilled when I read that the Zen Sack can be worn backwards with the weight on their backs. You guys. This thing is pretty great! Again, I was skeptical. We loved our Ollie Swaddle and had been using a sack that was okay, but we were still getting at least 1 wake up at night. We understand that The The Baby Whisperer is not a quick fix, it’s about creating a life long healthy sleeper… so we don’t really believe in magic sleep suits, but this thing has truly been a blessing to help us reinforce healthy sleeping habits.

Check them out HERE 

An Apple a Day

IMG_8460 IMG_8461 IMG_8462 IMG_8463 IMG_8464 IMG_8457 IMG_8458 IMG_8459We like to eat in our house… Like, a lot. We also are those hippie types that care about organic, non-gmo, plant based goodness. I’ve always been interested in healthy diets and as any parent can tell you, kids make everything difficult  complicated interesting. Healthy eating is no exception. You want your kiddo to eat the best food and learn to appreciate a variety of flavors from an early age… Not an easy task. We try to make as much of the boys baby food when they are first starting to eat, but life with a toddler and infant is crazy, so some days we run out or I’m totally unprepared. Shocking, I know. So there are times when Mama needs some help. Deciphering baby food labels is way too difficult these days, trying to read through the healthy buzzwords and figure out the best choice.

Enter Once Upon a Farm. I am such a fan of this company. Not all organic baby food is created equal. Every product is Certified Organic and Kosher, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Cold-Pressured. They never use any concentrates, pre-processed purees, juices or preservatives. This stuff tastes good. That’s right, I tried it and it’s yummy. I got a variety pack of applesauce and intended to feed them all to little man, but Rocco decided that he wanted ALL OF THEM. Kid is obsessed with applesauce these days, he started asking for his “refrigerator applesauce” instead of our pantry staple supply. R would devour them straight from the fridge, while Felix prefers them warmed up a bit. I just feel so much better knowing they don’t contain any weird additives to keep the safe for years in the stockroom or pantry.

We just signed up for a monthly subscription with a whole bunch of delicious sounding concoctions for the boys to try. I may have ordered the Chocolate Ever After for myself… That’s not weird, right!? I definitely suggest giving these a try!!!

The bounce back conundrum. 

So if you’ve had a kid chances are you’ve found pages like 4th Trimester Body Project or Birth Without Fear, etc. these amazing groups celebrate moms in all of their forms, shapes, and sizes. I love it. Every woman, especially those who have made, housed, and birthed a baby, should never hate their body. It’s beyond miraculous what the female body can do, the power we are capable of… It blows my mind. Staring at my 7 month old and 2.5 year old it’s like “HOLY HOT DAMN!! I CREATED THEM!!!” Like shit!!!! So yes, I’m amazed and in love with what my body has done… Butttt I still desire to get my body to a place where I’m wholly confident, healthy, and strong. Don’t hate me, but I have kids and still want to look good in a bathing suit. *gasp*

So like anything in this day and age you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. On one side you get the, “stop shaming moms who don’t bounce back after baby” and then there’s the “stop shaming moms who desire to spend time on themselves and exercise” Why is it always like this?! All it takes is 10 seconds on a comment thread of any mommy related story for the claws to come out. We are always offended. Everything is offensive. Dear sweet baby Jesus!! I’m offended, you’re offended, I’m offended… Geez!! Why?! Did agree-to-disagree just fly out the window?  Since when did your opinion mean so much more than your neighbor’s?! And why in the hell do we have to tell everyone?! Hell, I’m a blogger, I love giving my 2 cents about all things and I have plenty of thoughts about child raising ideals and practices… Sure, I might quietly judge or disagree with another mom for a certain behavior, but guess what?! I keep my freakin mouth closed because that mom is just doing her best! The poor mom who lost her child to an alligator attack hopefully never looked at the comment thread on a story about their situation because the terrible awful things that were said would leave even the toughest skin bruised. She was doing her best. Don’t get me started on the Gorilla kid…

I’ve gotten off topic…

IMG_7084When I stare in the mirror, I’m gonna be honest, I’m like Meh. I don’t hate my body, but I am genuinely excited about getting back into my old clothes and feeling happy with my nekkid body. I hesitate to say “get my body back” I don’t want that body, I want my -amazing, birthed 2 babies naturally with no drugs, fed two babies from my boobs- body, I just want strength and stamina to chase my kiddos endlessly. I want to be able to pick up my kids until they’re teenagers. Slight exaggeration? Possibly.

It doesn’t have to be one or the other. We can love our bodies and all they’ve done and desire to spend time on ourselves excercising and getting in shape. If you’re anything like me, the time spent exercising is just as much a mental cleansing as it is a physical challenge. It gets my brain right. Even if it’s just a walk or a 10 minute arm series. You’d be amazed what that can do for your soul.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetOn top of exercise and good old fashioned clean eating, after F bomb I decided to wear my Belly Bandit compression gear for REALS this go around. I had it for after Roc, but was not consistent. Let me tell you consistency is key!!! I wore my Original Belly Bandit, all-day everyday for the first month. After that I tried to wear it for at least 4 hours for the following few months until it [hooray] became too big! I switched to the Mother Tucker corset after that and again wore that for a few hours a day . On top of these tummy products, I decided to try the Hip Bandit because with Rocco it was a solid year before my hips were back down to size. Guys!!!! At 5 months my hip measurement was a half an inch away from pre-baby… NUMBER ONE!!! So yea, if you’re wondering if this stuff works. I’d have to say a resounding yessss ma’am. I also rock their Mother Tucker leggings, like, all the time. Just look at my past two fashion posts. I feel so good when I wear them and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what a comment thread says or Instagram or People magazine says, feelin good is all that matters!!

Get pregnancy shapewear at BellyBandit.com

Baby Numero Dos [0-3]

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[one] [two] [three] [four] [five] [six] [seven] [eight] [nine] [ten]

Oh me, oh my. I had baby. Ah-gain. You’d think that would prepare me in some way for going through this mess again… Nah. That would be too easy. I feel like it’s a whole new learning process. You forget the sleepless nights, crying, and being covered in poo and breastmilk. I suppose you have a better handle on certain things like feeding, diaper changing, what products are worth it and what are completely useless. So with baby #2 I’ve found some new things along with my favorite standbys for surviving the first 3 months.

Swaddles. We love, love, love our Ollie Swaddle, it is completely Houdini proof and you can get it super snug!! The material is lightweight and moisture wicking so you don’t have to worry about overheating. We also keep Aden + Anais muslin swaddles around for when little man wants to have a bit more freedom. They are also perfect burp cloths, blankets, car seat covers, nursing covers, their uses are endless. Plus, the patterns are so flipping cute.

All. The. Swings. This go around the Mamaroo has not worked its magic, but a friends Graco swing and Rock n Play aka poop chair(literally takes a poo ERRYTIME he is in this thing) have proven to be a little more tolerable for the little prince, but not enough that they would be worth the money to purchase. If you can borrow things from friends I highly suggest it, all babes are different end you seriously never ever know what they are gonna like.

Exercise Ball. Forget your rocking chair. I good ole exercise ball does the trick nicely. Seriously. Both oh my boys LOVE being bounced and rocked on my labor ball. Lol.

Wrap + Carrier. Especially for baby number 2. You have to get your hands free sometimes, i.e. Making big kid breakfast, etc. I love a good stretchy wrap (Happy Baby) for me is the best way to carry my tiny nuggets for the first 3ish months. A structured carrier is great for larger babies or once they gain neck control.

Sound Machine. This is an absolute must. Like you must have one. If anything it helps me sleep better and not here every little snort and squeak mister lets out. We moms wake up to a pin dropping once we have kids, so this definitely helps. I also think it helps once they transfer to their crib gives something familiar.

Coffee. Self explanatory.

A walk outside. Don’t forget to get out. Even if it’s just for the quickest stroll around the block. It’s good for your brain. It’s good for baby. It’s good for toddler. All good.

Amazing Mama friends who just get it. I think the key to not fully losing your mind is having friends you can vent to who understand what you’re going through who can remind you it’s not forever and this season is so quick in the grand scheme of things. Friends who offer you wine and hold your baby. Friends who pray for you and check in on you.

You’re not alone lady. Newborns are tough and they can easily breakdown your spirit. It’s okay. Vent it out. It’s not all sunshine and unicorns. There are days where you might say shut up more than I love you… #nojudgement Remember the unending grace provided in parenting. You’re doing so good mama!

Labor of Love…

FelixBirthSP-3IMG_6246 copyIMG_6248 copyFelixBirthSPFelixBirthSP-14FelixBirthSP-13FelixBirthSP-11FelixBirthSP-9FelixBirthSP-8FelixBirthSP-7FelixBirthSP-5FelixBirthSP-4 copy 2FelixBirthSP-2So I’m just gonna say it, I’m birth obsessed. I love watching births, reading about births, yes yes YES. I love it. I follow dozens of birth photographers on Instagram and I can only say that I am in love with birth. So much so that I truly believe one day I will become a doula… What a difference a few years makes… So maybe you are equally birth obsessed or maybe you couldn’t care less, but I’m gonna tell my story for anyone who wants to hear it. I promise, it’s pretty entertaining.

I was really unsure how to approach writing this post… I think labor is literally the most beautiful thing on the planet and I had many different, more serious versions of this post in the works, but what it really came down to was that my labor was NOTHING like my first and on top of that, nothing like how I envisioned it. Seriously, it was so far from my plan of “silent and calm” that we just had to laugh because it still ended with the most wonderful gift. Now on to the good stuff.

I was having just a terrible night’s sleep, up to pee ever hour or so and feeling crampy. Nothing alarming, but bleh nonetheless.

[4am] Cramps [Pain Level] .0025

So at 4 I woke up with more intense cramping. My mind started to race. My inner dialogue sounded a bit like this, “Noooooo… No way… Impossible… Definitely Not… Go back to sleep.” There would be no sleep in my immediate, or distant, future.

[5:30am] Consistent Mild Contractions [Pain Level] .050

I was still in a pretty good state of denial when, apologies for the frankness, the poops arrived. I started to have to get up to use the bathroom every 15 – 20 minutes. I knew what was happening, but still hadn’t had any major signs that it was labor, no water breaking, no bloody show… I still thought that there was a possibility it would stop. I decided to time my contractions before I alarmed The Captain or my Midwife, Jenny. Sure enough every 5-10 minutes I had a contraction. I woke up The Captain and asked him what I should do. We decided to text Jenny and get her opinion. I should note, I LOVE my midwife… like, LOVE HER, LOVE HER. I am so grateful we found her during the move. I can’t stress how amazing it is to have a caretaker who’s completely and utterly on your side. LOVE.

[6:45am] Regular Mild Contractions + Poo [Pain Level] .25

Jenny suggested that we give it 30 minutes and see, then meet at the hospital to get checked, she would be in her office at 8:15. So I continued to time the contractions which at this point were like dull period cramps. We called in our babysitting squad to watch Mohawk who was still fast asleep. I showered. Shaved my legs. Put on some makeup. Felt super cute. Our savior, Regen, showed up shortly after. Leaving the house was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done… Saying “I love you” and hugging my son, for possibly the last time as my only child, choked hard in my throat. I didn’t want to put him down. Cue tears.

[8:45] Regular Moderate Contractions + less than 2cm dilated [Pain Level] .75

I continued having contractions while we drove. Once to the hospital, they got us into a triage room where they monitored and checked me. I was barely 2 cm and while my cervix was in the right position I was only 70% effaced. Same as I had been two weeks prior at my visit. Talk about disappointed. But I was indeed having consistent contractions. So I was sentenced to walk. And walk. And walk. I was monitored again and they sent to walk yet again. The Captain and I just strolled the unit floor, held hands, laughed… Now that I’m reflecting on the day, I’m so glad we had this time.

[12:30pm] Regular Contractions + 2.5cm dilated [Pain Level] 4

Around 12:30 I was checked again. This time 2.5 cm. I was epically bummed. My contractions were pretty uncomfortable, but manageable. So I just couldn’t believe that things were moving so slowly, but I was trying to remain positive and praising The Lord for each contraction because it was bringing me closer to meeting my boy. By this time I was joined by Doula Amber who was helping me through contractions and giving me my options of what I could ask, etc. She was absolutely instrumental in keeping both of us calm and relaxed throughout the day. I talked to Jenny from her office and she suggested going to walk the mall or grabbing a light lunch, but because of our drive she would prefer we didn’t go all the way home. I wanted bread and there was a Panera at the mall. Sure. I’d try it. So The Captain, Amber, and I made our way to the mall… Yes, the mall.

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender_1yes, you are seeing this right… 

[1:15pm] Active Labor [Pain Level] 5-8

We arrived to Cordova Mall around 1pm. I made my way to the Panera bathroom where my contractions took a big leap in intensity. I scared an employee half to death, but assured her I wouldn’t deliver my baby on the bathroom floor. We headed next to Victoria’s Secret because I had not packed undies, nor even wore them to the hospital [they were super unnecessary last time, oops] and if my water broke we didn’t want to leave a puddle. So picture it, if you can, mama swaying back-n-forth picking out undies and eating bread while having pretty intense active labor pains. I made The Captain take pics because, ya know, you can’t make this shit up. With undies in hand we started walking towards a department store and the restrooms. This walk seemed to take 10 years. By time I had my new skivvies on I was certain I was going to give birth in the mall bathroom. I informed my crew that I had to get the hell out of there. As we made our way out, Amber mentioned trying out a reflexology massage place near our exit. Couldn’t hurt to try, right?! So for 20 minutes a lovely Chinese woman rubbed my legs. She was very concerned about my due date and assured me she could help. Well, for the first half I swear I was in heaven. I didn’t have any contractions for nearly 10 minutes. But then they started back… Oh Lord, did they start back.

So we paid and on the way out to the parking lot every contraction was just as intense. I was moaning and thrashing in the mall parking lot. The car ride back to the hospital was the worst. I started feeling like I was going to throw up and somehow just kept thinking about how badly I wanted to hold Mohawk. I was realizing that never again would I only have my first baby. I couldn’t control the tears. Full blown ugly crying. I continued to bawl, dry heave, and painfully contract. The combo of the 3 made for a dramatic hospital parking lot show. Amber got me a wheelchair and we proceeded to make our way to labor and delivery.

[2:45pm] Intense Active Labor + 9cm dilated with bulging bag of waters [Pain Level] 9.

When we arrived at the nurses’ desk the women looked concerned and in a tone I didn’t appreciate said, “well honey, we are gonna have to find ya a room.” I remember smiling at her and thinking, “bitch, I will cut you.” That’s possibly the only negative thing I could say about my entire hospital labor. Luckily. They had saved me a room. So by 3:15 I was in my room. A nurse checked me and things had changed dramatically, she put in a call to Jenny immediately. I had dilated 7.5cm during my time at the mall. The Captain was so amazing, putting my chapstick on, rubbing my back, making all kinds of funny sounds with me… Having him home and there was just amazing. so for roughly 30 minutes, I labored in the quite, peaceful room.

[3:45pm] Pushing [Pain Level] 10.

Jenny arrived and after remarking, that she knew I was going to pull this kinda move, she said “let’s push and meet your baby!” Ummm come again?! She just got there. Shouldn’t she buy me a drink first?! I began pushing on my side. I had the most amazing group of women, Jenny, Amber, amazing nurses, and most importantly, The Captain, cheering me on. But let me just say it, the side push wasn’t registering with me. I was not understanding or connecting the pushing, but to my excitement Felix was still in his bag of waters. So my dream of an en caul birth was nearly realized and the side push is apparently more gentle on baby and mama, but it was NOT working. I ended up scooting on my back and with 2 pushes to go, my water broke.

[4pm-ish] Water Breaks [Pain level] 7 hundred million billion.

But I just absorbed that pain and used it to power my final 2 pushes.

[4:05pm] Baby Felix is born [Pain Level] Non-existent due to state of oxytocin induced euphoria.

And like that, I had a baby. Praise The Lord! After 8 hours of early labor. 3.5 of active labor. And 20 some odd minutes of pushing. Baby Felix was born with zero interventions, not even so much as a heplock or monitor. He was placed immediately on my chest and we all had a good cry!! I still cannot believe he’s here. Even staring at him right now. I just can’t believe. Already a one upper, he was 11 days early, beating out Mohawk’s 10 days early record…

I’m so grateful for everyone that helped welcome F-guy earth side. It wasn’t what I was planning, but it was beautiful none the less. Happy Birthday Felix!!

+A huge thanks to Ashley of Against the Grain Photography for our amazing photos!+