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Motherhood

Baby’s First Thanksgiving

Last year we hosted Thanksgiving for our really big family. Now with Leon we couldn’t imagining doing that again this year. It was still exhausting! We kept Leon up past his bedtime because our family couldn’t get enough of him and he let us know he was tired! I hope he gets use to our crazy family soon haha. But you know what, I am so grateful for them. I love having such a big family. There’s always a birthday or celebration every single weekend. I love that Leon is going to grow up with so much love. I’m so grateful for my little family, my 2 boys. The holidays are going to be so much better now!

Loving Lately | Post-Partum Edition

She's Charmed

My Loving Lately series is back! I haven’t been wearing much these last few weeks during my maternity leave. Not only is time limited but I am trying to soak up all the baby snuggles I can get! These few products have been keeping this new momma refreshed.

  • IT Cosmetics Confidence In An Eye Cream. Eye creams are a hard product to love. There isn’t much out there that are effective for depuffing the delicate skin around the eyes. This eye cream has been one I have actually liked in a very long time. It claims to have “drop of light technology” and ingredients like ceramides, chrysin, licorice root, avocado, squalane that work to hydrate, smooth wrinkles and dark circles. I do notice it has made my under eyes brighter and moisturized. I can’t speak on the long term anti aging properties or decreasing puffiness.
  • Mario Badescu Rose Water Spray. I wish I had brought this with me to the hospital. The aloe and rosewater helps keep me feeling refreshed and clean. Best believe that’s an amazing feeling after diaper changes and baby spit up. I spray my body as well as my face.
  • L’Oréal Lash Paradise Mascara. I am taking a break from lash extensions and ran into this new mascara. I am usually loyal to my L’Oreal Voluminous but gave into the hype. This one gives a lot volume and length and I love the wand. A little concealer and this makes me feel a little bit more awake.
  • La Roche-Posay Sunscreen. My favorite light weight sunscreen for the face. Just a layer of this before my walks with my little one. Seriously lightweight and the formula is not sticky. Good news is you can find this any drug store.
  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea 4 in 1 Setting Mist. This setting spray is suppose to be a primer, setting spray, hydrating, and skin refresher. I think it does the hydrating and refreshing well and not so much the priming.

Newborn Essentials (0 to 3 Months) For the Practical Mom

Hi all! My favorite thing when preparing for baby was reading blog posts and watching YouTube videos on baby essentials. It can also get way too overwhelming especially when you want to give the best of everything to your little one. Really overwhelming when there are a million baby products out there. I’m finding out that babies don’t need much. But the best products are the ones that make life easier and serve multiple purposes.

As a disclaimer, every baby is different. What works for us may not work for your baby. Nonetheless, I hope this helps other moms, especially new mothers. I will continue to update this list until Leon’s 3rd month.

FTC: This post contains affiliate links in which I earn a small commission. All profits go toward maintaining my little blog :).

Baby Carrier

A baby carrier is a MUST. It holds baby close and leaves you hands free to do things around the house and even go on walks. For these reasons wraps are usually best for newborns. There are a million options out there. I tried the Boba wrap which is similar to the Solly wrap and Moby wrap. A LOT of moms swear by these but I hated them. It was too much fabric and got too hot for baby. It was also took too much to assemble and put on, not good for fussy babies. I love the Baby K’tan because it’s easy to put on. You put it on like a scarf and adjust the 2 rings appropriately. It’s lightweight and doesn’t make baby sweat like the other heavier fabric wraps. Baby K’tan has 3 options – Original, Breeze, and Active; I chose the active because it has UV protection. The only con is that you have to chose a size that fits you. This may not be an option if you also want dad to wear it as well. Also, the sizes run small so size down. Be sure to look up the sizing chart online for reference!

Sleep

Our sleeping situation for the first few months is to have baby in our room in a Pack ‘n Play (PnP). We chose this instead of those fancy bassinets so it can grow with baby. There are other options that have a better aesthetic as well but this one was very affordable. This one also has a reversible changer and napper. The changer has been a life saver for diaper changes in the middle of the night.

We love the Rock ‘n Play for naps. I keep this downstairs in the living room where we spend majority of our time. This is also a great to have for babies who have reflux because it allows them to lay at an incline. Also it has the option to rock and play music (including white noise).

We have fallen in love with the Dock A Tot and completely worth the price tag. When baby is restless we allow him to nap in here. There are a lot of safety concerns for overnight sleep and for that reason we do not use for overnight sleeping, only supervised naps. TIP: DockATot + Love to Dream Swaddle (see below) is our magic formula for sleep!

A noise machine is another essential. I can’t speak on the popular DOHM machine but this Skip Hop one does multiple things! It has multiple options for lullabies and white noise. It’s also a night light and projects stars on the ceiling. It’s perfect for our little one’s nursery.

Favorite Swaddle

There are SO many options and so many people swear by specific ones. I bought so many to try with no luck. Leon hated the ones that kept his arms at his side even as a newborn. The Love to Dream swaddles are the only ones I found with hands up. TIP: This swaddle + DockATot = perfect combo!

Nursing

Breastfeeding Pillow. No one told me breastfeeding would be a workout. My upper back and arms were so sore the first few weeks! I have both of these pillows. I keep one upstairs and one downstairs for convenience. There are pros and cons for them both. The Boppy is easy to grab and wrap around me when I’m holding baby with the other arm. It can also be used to sit baby up and I even use them for myself when I nap!  It doesn’t, however, have good back support like the Brestfriend pillow. I keep this one upstairs and it helps with late night feeds.

  • Nursing Tanks & Bras. These are the best when nursing. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune on them either. This is currently all I wear and when going out I just throw a T-shirt over them.

Clothes

 

  • Zipper Onsies. Any brand will do! With a fussy baby and a dirty diaper you do not want to go through snaps and buttons.
  • Burp Cloths. You’ll need a lot of them. You can actually use anything as a burp cloths. We got a lot of flannel blankets and muslin blanket that we use.
  • Banana Bibs. Dressing boys can be just as fun as girls. Banana bibs are both useful and serve as an accessory to style baby!

 

Favorite Stores

 

  • Primary.com. I love this online store. Their clothes are so soft and I wanted more neutral colors (I got tired of baby blue real fast!).
  • Other stores that I’ve found to be affordable: Old Navy, Gap, H&M, Babies R’ Us. Nursing Tanks.

 

Luxury Items

 

  • Google home or any smart home device. We received this as a gift and a few months back before baby and surprisingly it has been very helpful especially when you’ve got your hands full. As a new mom you can imagine the billions things I google per day.

 

Fun Stuff

 

  • Camera. For obvious reasons! A good camera for cute photos and capturing memories is a plus.
  • Portable HD. To store all those baby photos and videos. My goal is to backup photos after each month.
  • Polkadot Print Shop Baby Book. Fell in love with this baby book and can’t wait to update each milestone. It’s customizable as well and you can put baby’s name on the front cover!
  • Milestone Cards. I love these! So cute to take photos documenting each week and baby’s firsts.

 

Labor & Delivery Story // Baby Leon Is Here!

She's Charmed

Photo By: Omo Photography

As most know, my pregnancy went pretty smoothly. I was so grateful that I could enjoy my first pregnancy. I loved feeling baby kick. I was so amazed that my body was growing a life and I was excited to be starting a family.

There’s this note on my phone that I wrote that I want to share. Little did we know Leon would be arriving in just 48 hours.

Dear Leon, 

I’m sitting in your nursery and folding some of your baby clothes. I’m just so excited to meet you, see you, and show you our world. God has given me another sign that everything is going to be okay. I just got an overwhelming feeling of joy and calm thinking about you and it has brought me to tears. I can hear your dad cleaning in the kitchen. He is SO excited, I can see it in his eyes. I think he’s in nesting mode too.  I know it will be a little chaotic in less than a month with your arrival. But we can’t wait to start this journey with you. 
Written July 11
Started having contractions this exact night. You were born 2 days later. 

Here’s my Labor & Delivery Story:

Beginning of my 37th week of pregnancy, I think my belly dropped. I started to have more discomfort and pressure on my pelvic bone. Other than wobbling a bit more, I felt completely fine. On the evening of July 11, 2017, I started having cramping pain and had trouble sleeping. I remember tossing and turning in bed and wondering if these were actual contractions or Braxton-Hicks. I had my weekly OB appointment the following morning, so I waited. By morning, I knew I was having contractions. It felt different. I had more pain in my lower abdomen and it radiated straight toward my back. The pain was still tolerable and contractions were not regular. I knew at the least I was in early, early labor. My OB checked me and to my surprise I was already 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. I asked if I could still go to work later that day and the doc told me yes as it may help distract me from the pain. She told me that many women are in this phase for several days and if things progressed to call.

So I went home and tried to take another nap. I was too uncomfortable. I still went into work that afternoon. The pain continued to gradually get a little worse and contraction were happening anywhere from 45 minutes to 30 minutes apart in no pattern. I knew this wasn’t a reason to panic just yet. I saw my patients and by the end of the day the pain became more and more intense to the point where I had to stop talking and breathe through them. Timing starting to be around 15 minutes to 20 minutes apart. I drove home (I know bad idea!) and had contractions in the car. I called Roger and told him I think we need to pack the hospital bag and charge the camera. I don’t think he was ready either as he was too worried about making dinner for us. I think a part of me thought I still had some time and this couldn’t happen so quickly. This being my first baby a lot of mothers don’t go this early. So our hospital bags were not packed, camera wasn’t ready, nursery was not done. The house wasn’t prepped for baby to come yet. Thank goodness we set up the car seat a few days prior. So, when I got home I started throwing things in the hospital bag and spitting out directions to Roger. At this point the pain this pain was unbearable. Contractions were happening 5-7 minutes apart. I called the OB who told me to go ahead and go to triage.

I remember getting to the hospital and asking Roger to get a wheel chair, the pain was so bad I couldn’t walk. He had some trouble with the valet guy and I thought this baby is going to come out right in front of the hospital. We walked into triage and the front desk had trouble with our long last name and getting us checked it (I wasn’t surprised). By the time I got to triage and was checked by the doctor I was already 5cm dilated. Roger and I were watching the monitor as each contraction came and I breathed through it. I don’t know how women do this naturally! I said YES to the epidural. I never passed a mucous plug and my water didn’t break. This was happening, Leon was coming. 

They finally got me into my labor and delivery room. The anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. Thank the Lord for modern medicine! After the epidural I was more relaxed and finally was able to take a nap. I could still feel some of the strong contractions but was able to tolerate it. 2 hours later, I was 8.5cm dilated. The OB came in to break my water and speed up labor. This was around 3am. My parents finally arrived to be with us. 1.5 hours later I was fully dilated and ready to go. My nurse came in to coach me through pushing. We did some practice pushes and Leon was already coming out! The first thing the nurses saw was a full head of hair! The OB rushed in and 15 minutes of pushing later he was out!

Everyone always talks about it, but to experience that moment you get to see and hold your baby that you’ve been carrying for 9 months is hands down the most incredible feeling in the world. There was a sense of familiar; by just holding him and the sound of my voice he already knew I was his mother. It was an overwhelming feeling of joy and love. This little human was a part of me and will always will be. My life flashed forward and I could imagine all the adventures we we were going to have. I looked over at Roger and he was smiling so big. I look at him differently now and love him more than I possibly thought I could. He has come into his role as a father so endearingly that it inspires me everyday.

Leon’s Stats:
Born July 13, 2017
7 lbs and 2 oz
20 inches
So Leon now that you’re here. I am overjoyed you wanted to hang out with mom and dad sooner than later.
I can’t wait to show you our world.