And just like that.. it’s time for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! WOO-FREAKIN-HOO! On a regular basis, I can spend HOURS browsing Nordstrom (even the coffee shop!) – it really is one of my “happy places.” So when the sale comes around, LOOK OUT WORLD. While it’s just “early access” right now, the sale opens to the public on July 21st. I’ve rounded up some of my faves from the sale for both myself & some baby items. Happy shopping!
Motherhood + Baby
I’ve gone back & forth about writing about this topic since it’s a touchy one — but, I feel strongly about it so I’m just going to go for it! If you’re a super judgy mom-shamer, this post is not for you.
“Ain’t no ‘hood like motherhood.” While motherhood is so very beautiful & unlike any other experience, it can (but mostly likely will) also be the scariest & hardest job you’ll ever have. While, of course, having a baby is rewarding and gives you all the feels you never knew were possible, a lot of people just don’t talk about “the other stuff.” The toll of a poor night’s sleep, the constant anxiety of wondering if you’re doing it “right,” and the ever-present mental battles of all the controversial topics that lead to mom-guilt one way or the other: breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, co-sleeping or letting your kid cry it out and all the way down to how big or small you cut your baby’s first solid foods, etc etc etc. So why do we, as new moms thrown into a 24/7 role that nothing could ever possibly prepare you for, have to also feel guilty and ashamed about needing/wanting a smidge of time to ourselves to do whatever we please? Calling total BS over that one and I think it’s even crazy that we have to call this “self-care.”
Eight months sure did come and go quickly! This past month has been the BEST stage of motherhood and babyhood so far – and I think Henry would agree. His no-so-little personality is starting to blossom more and more every day and there are just so many details we’re starting to notice in his demeanor. We know what songs to sing to make him smile and dance, which toys he loves to shake like a tambourine (and which non-toy items he’s going to go after, aka shoes & remotes!), and the meaning behind one cry to the next. It really gives me ALL the mama feels to see the safety and trust he finds in us. I love that he always searches the room for us and reaches his arms out for me.
Since it seems like it has been raining here in South Florida NON-FREAKING-STOP (& that’s not an exaggeration) over the past few weeks, I can’t help but daydream about our upcoming summer vacations. Visions of wind-blown hair (mine & Henry’s ha!), swimsuits and our toes in the sand are clouding my mind lately and I think it’s safe to say I’m so excited to get outta town! While I know traveling with the babe in tow won’t be the most “relaxing” of vacations, I truly do love any excuse to travel and can’t wait for Henry to experience all of our new adventures.
When planning a vacation, I always do some shopping beforehand. A trip is the best excuse to spruce up my wardrobe and find a few pieces that will travel well and fit whichever destination is on the radar. Plus, planning a vacay is almost as exciting as the actual vacay – am I right?! From beachy accessories to lounge chair reading material, below are a few of my summer travel must-haves!
“The days are long but the years are short.” I never truly understood that quote and its magnitude until I became a mother. It seems like I’m sharing these photos & updates daily instead of monthly! With that being said, Henry’s seventh month of life was pretty eventful for all of us. Not only did we celebrate our first Mother’s Day, but this little guy is on the move and it’s such a game changer. Here’s what’s been going on in our world:
It’s our sweet little babe’s HALF BIRTHDAY! 🎉
Woah woah woah – time needs to sloooow down! I can’t believe it’s been six months (yes, I will say that every month). This past month has been amazing. After a rough patch during the previous month, I am so happy to say that things have turned around not just for the better.. but for the best! Henry is currently off ALL of his reflux meds and is the happiest little guy who hands out smiles like they’re goin’ out of style. Here’s what else has been going on:
Even though our sweet baby is only just shy of six months old, I find myself saying to my husband all the time, “Remember when Henry…” And whether I’m reminiscing on his squished little baby face right after he was born or watching a video of him waking up full of smiles from when he was only three months old, it often feels as if he’s been here forever. Having Henry has made me realize so many things about life and about being present. One of the greatest things I’ve learned is that life is truly measured by memories and moments.
Time is surely flying! It’s hard to believe Henry has been with us for five months already! I know it’s SO cliche.. but where does the time go?!
In all honesty (because I’m very honest about motherhood!), Henry’s fifth month of life hasn’t been my favorite. Not only have we been battling his reflux and trying to find the best remedy to keep him comfy, but he’s cutting his first tooth. The combo of those two with his new skill of rolling onto his belly has caused what is known in the mama world as the dreaded “4 month sleep regression.” So with that being said, I’ve been drinking more coffee than usual lately! Although this past month was tough, I still make sure that I enjoy and cherish every moment – good or bad – and remain optimistic about next month. Here’s what else has happened in the past month:
Before my sweet little Henry was born and I took on the title of “mom,” I had ZERO clue what I would need besides a crib, diapers and the obvious necessities. So when it came time to create my registry, I was beyond overwhelmed (because there is such thing as TOO much research) and ended up just choosing pretty much everything and anything I saw that looked cute & fun (& expensive).
Motherhood is full of “oh no!” and “aha!” moments. You can do as much research as your brain can possibly endure while you’re pregnant, but experience is the best teacher when it comes to your new job title of “mama.” I spent countless hours reading books and blogs trying to prepare for parenthood. Somehow, these fifteen items slipped through the cracks of all my studying:
1. Not much will go as planned
I am a planner to the max. I had TONS of plans for our little family. And you know what? Sometimes, plans don’t work out and that’s okay! Did I plan to have a reflux babe? Nope. Am I makin’ it work? ‘Sho nuff am!
2. Bonding can take time
For some of us, that instant “this baby completes me” feeling takes time. I didn’t expect that but I’m glad to know it’s not abnormal. Now, I’m obsessed with that little squish of mine!
3. You might become addicted to buying baby clothes
Sorry, hubs! But really, I’m not.
4. Mom guilt is real
Ohh this is just TOO TRUE and that struggle is SO real. Guilt over every decision. I’ve learned to just LET IT GO & breathe.
5. Leaving baby with anyone will be harder than you think
Cabin fever is legit as a new mama. You pretty much can’t leave the confines of your house or the pediatrician’s office for weeks on end (feels like forever, doesn’t it?). But when you finally get the chance to break free and leave the house alone.. you’ll just worry about the baby instead.
6. You’ll learn to trust your instincts
When I was pregnant, I felt like I had to learn EVERYTHING before he came home with us novice amateur parents. In the end, I found that it really just comes to you. Soon enough, you can change a diaper in under a minute, in your lap, in the backseat of the car. Trust yourself, you’ve got this.
7. Your house will be taken over
Say buh-bye to your clean modern living space! Our home has turned into ‘Baby Wonderland.” And of course, you’ll always have WAY more than you need.
8. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out..
WRONG! Once you dare think to yourself “alright, I’ve got this,” something will change and you won’t have it. Keep calm & move on. On Henry’s 3rd month birthday he decided to become intolerant to my breastmilk. We’re workin’ on it, one dairy-free/soy-free meal & GI visit at a time.
9. You’ll NEED your mom tribe
Find your mom tribe & you will be forever grateful. From support to experience, they’ve got your back!
10. Leaving the house will take forever
This used to be because you had to apply your makeup with precision and tame every single flyaway that sprouted from your head. Not anymore! Now it’s because your baby decided to ‘dirty’ his diaper as you were walking out the door or you had to turn around because you forgot the stroller.. or the pacifier.. or your sanity.
11. Your hormones will go so CRAY
I wasn’t prepared for the hormonal shit storm that was about to hit me so hard a week or so after delivery. Wine.. just wine.
12. You’ll appreciate a solo trip to run an errand like never before
Once you get over that guilt of leaving your baby, it will turn into true appreciation for not having to worry about a possible baby meltdown in the middle of Target. Trust.
13. Maternity leave is NOT a vacation
There is no time to read for leisure, perfect your gourmet chef skills or learn a new language. Momming is a full time job those first few months (and really forever)!
14. Everyone will see your boobs
If you’re breastfeeding or pumping, just get used to it. The housekeeper, your in-laws, possibly the pool guy..
15. Your body MAY hold onto an extra few pounds if you’re nursing
When I started to shed all the “baby weight,” I couldn’t figure out why I hit a 5lb. plateau that just wouldn’t go away no matter how much I was exercising and eating healthy. After talking to some other moms and doing my research, I found that it’s pretty normal for our bodies to hold on to a couple of pounds until you’re done nursing.
With all that being said, we are all just doing the best we can for our little babes and THAT’S MORE THAN ENOUGH. Mamahood is amazing, scary, and exciting – embrace every emotion and savor every minute. Most importantly, everything is temporary. The good and the bad.
Henry’s fourth month has been yet another whirlwind! What they say about the days being long and the years being short has never been truer. My sweet baby boy is growing before my eyes and every day it feels like he’s bigger and doing something new that he wasn’t doing the day before! With all the amazing moments we’ve had together, we’ve also had some rough ones this month. Henry’s reflux has really taken a turn for the worst lately and we’re hoping that that was the peak of it and things are going to get better from here on out! We’re trying eliminating some things from his (my) diet, some new medications, probiotics, visiting a baby chiropractor and diffusing a couple of essential oils (I’ve always considered myself semi-granola☺️). I’m so thankful to have such a healthy, thriving & active baby, but seeing him in pain from the reflux is heartbreaking! Here’s what else has been happening this month:
Weighing in at 16 lbs & 24.5 inches
Sleeping 10 hours at night
Rolling from back to belly, laughing & refining his grabbing skills. Henry also graduated physical therapy this month for his neck! YAY!
Sitting and spending time outside, his nightly baths, blondes 😆, the chiropractor and our Mommy & Me classes.
The carseat (STILL!), staying up too late and sitting still for too long.
Looking Forward To:
Introducing solids soon (I can’t wait to cook for this baby!), family photos in March and hopefully learning how to sit up!
If you guys have any questions or advice for our new parenthood life, please leave them below!
Henry has officially graduated from the “fourth trimester.” If you’re a new mama, you know exactly what the fourth trimester is all about – am I right?! For those of you who have never heard the term (or just thought it was a cute play on words), the fourth trimester is the first three months of your babe’s life when they are adjusting to the great big world around them. It’s the period of time when they need to be swaddled, feel the warmth of your body and are figuring out the whole day/night thing (more on that later). While time is flying by WAYYYY too fast, I’m so happy with where we are now and how much Henry has grown in the last few months. Here are our updates:
Weighing in at 15 lbs & 24 inches
Sleeping 10 hours at night
Big happy smiles, rolling from tummy to back, grabbing (ouch!) and making lots of new (baby dinosaur-like😆) sounds!
Mornings, this Jumperoo (on sale!), drying off after the bath, this super soft & cozy swaddle (this company gives a swaddle to a child in need with every purchase!) for naps, the Noggin Stick, chatting it up with Mama, seeing Dad come home from work, spending time with the Grandparents & two Aunts and of course.. MILK!
The carseat, being tired & overstimulated. Did I mention the carseat? 😐
Looking Forward To:
Our new Mommy & Me classes, the possibility of introducing solids in the next few months, more adventures out & about, planning our first family vacation & hopefully some big baby belly laughs!
We’ve come to learn and realize a lot about our baby in such a short period of time. It’s crazy to see how these tiny humans have preferences already, as well as strong likes and dislikes. Henry takes his longest naps when we’re out and about.. the louder the better! He knows when it’s not his Dad giving him his last feeding before bed & lets you know he knows. Henry is learning his routine just like we are. He yawns the minute I put him into his nighttime bath, every time! He’s not just a sleep-all-day newborn anymore.
I’m really trying to soak up every moment. Every time he falls asleep on my shoulder, I never want him to let go. And when he smiles, I just want to forever engrain that image in my mind. This, for me, is the hardest part of mamahood – trying to freeze time, moments and feelings. As much as I can’t wait to see the boy & man he will become, I want his little baby self to stay forever too. On that note, cheers to the next month!
If you guys have any questions about our new parenthood life, please leave them below!
That’s one of the most popular questions asked when you have a newborn at home. Everyone knows, whether a veteran mama or someone who’s only seen a diaper in a TV commercial, that a newborn baby doesn’t allow their parents much sleep in those first few months. However, I was determined for all of us to get a good night’s sleep. I thrive on routine, schedules and to-do lists. And while parenthood has taught me that things definitely don’t always (maybe “rarely” is a better word 😂) go as planned, I set out right away to get Henry on some type of schedule that shortly became our “new normal.” So when friends ask me, “How’s Henry sleeping?” I can answer them bright eyed and bushy tailed with “like a champ!” How did we do it? Keep reading to find out! 👇🏻
When I was pregnant, I was quite the bookworm (I am in general, actually). I was particularly drawn to the book “Baby Wise” and what they had to say about getting your baby to sleep through the night, especially the part where it said it would happen sooner than later! Babies, like myself, also thrive on routine and begin to learn “what happens next” in their day. That was music to my ears. Soon enough, I began implementing the Baby Wise principles paired with the “Moms On Call” schedule and Henry started sleeping ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Yes mamas, it CAN happen! For us, it’s all about our day & night routines which look like this:
**This routine/schedule worked for us but obviously might not work for every baby. I would recommend reading Baby Wise and Moms on Call for more information and tips! If you are a family with an unpredictable nighttime schedule (ie out until different times every night), this won’t work for you.
6:30-7am: Henry wakes up (like clockwork) & has his first feeding of the day. We let light into his room and change his clothes so he knows it’s not nighttime any longer.
8/8:15am: Henry hangs with Dad before he goes to work while I get ready for my day with him. So when hubs leaves for the day around 8-8:15, I take Henry on a stroll in the Baby Bjorn. We do this EVERY morning and I love seeing how much more aware Henry is of his surroundings as the days go by. He will typically take a cat nap between his first and second feedings of the day.
9:30am: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime. We do tummy time, read a book, practice rolling over, etc. If I have errands to run, I typically do them around this time with him and he will nap in the carseat/stroller.
12:30pm: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime.
3:30pm: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime. Usually after this feeding we hang in the nursery for a little bit and read & listen to music or he will watch me put away his clothes.
6:30pm: Henry’s next feeding, activity time & then naptime. Naptime is often shorter during this period. We start dimming the lights around the house at this time of day so Henry knows it’s not party time any longer!
8:30pm: This is when we begin our “nighttime routine.” At 8:30pm sharp, I start his bath. While the bath is filling, hubby hangs with Henry and I set out his pjs and clothes for the following day with their respective diapers (use an overnight diaper at night! That is KEY!), get the bottle ready (Dad feeds Henry before bed with a bottle) and get the swaddle in place & ready to go. Once the bath is all set, I bathe H for about 10-15 minutes and keep the atmosphere calm & relaxed (low voice and no excessive excitement). He starts yawning in the tub – it’s too cute!
After the bath, I get him diapered and dressed in his pjs. I turn down the lights, turn on the sound machine and the ceiling projector, and Dad knows that’s his cue. Henry gets swaddled in his Halo SleepSack (arms free) and fed while listening to lullabies (around 9-9:15pm). When all is said and done, our sleepy baby gets tucked into his DockATot (SO NECESSARY) and settles himself to sleep.
This routine has worked for us since Henry was between 5 & 6 weeks old. The first few nights we tried this consistently and had our DockATot, he gave us 6 hour stretches. So we knew we were on to something! We stuck with it and soon enough he started skipping that 3am waking time. The first time he slept until 6am we were SO HAPPY (and kinda worried – but the pediatrician reassured us this was okay based on his weight/age!). The important thing to do is keep the morning and nighttime feedings around the same time every day. So if H wakes up at 6:30 OR 7am, he still eats again at 9:30. Depending on the day, sometimes this schedule will fluctuate by a half hour — but I haven’t let it change much more than that. Soon enough, H should be transitioning to go even longer between his feedings and sleeping even longer at night. I’ll keep you updated if anything changes!
One of my absolute favorite pregnancy pastimes was decorating Henry’s nursery and all the research and planning that went along with it. I spent countless hours on Pinterest, Instagram and blogs searching for inspiration and the perfect look for my little babe. When I found out we were having a baby boy, I immediately knew I didn’t want a typical blue or ‘boy themed’ nursery and felt more drawn to a neutral color palette. And let’s be honest, mom spends the most time looking at and enjoying the nursery that first year during all those late night feedings and diaper changes! When Henry is a bit older, he can have his Star Wars or football themed room – but for now, it’s everything mama wanted!
When I first got pregnant, I saw these little animal planters from Anthropologie on Pinterest and fell in love. These were the inspiration item that the entire nursery would be designed around. For me, that’s always how it happens. I find one item and work around it (which can prove extremely difficult sometimes!). Shortly after finding out we were having a “he,” I ordered the planters and the rest just fell into place little by little. The colors we chose were mint green, white, and gray with wood & safari animal accents and an overall mid-century modern feel. When all was said and done, I was so happy with the result — a calming & airy space that I enjoy spending time in with my little love. I’ve linked everything below if you happen to love it just as much as I do!
Dresser | West Elm
Crib | Pottery Barn Kids
Rug | Target
Giraffe | Melissa & Doug
Rocker | Buy Buy Baby
Hex Shelves | Etsy
Animal Prints | Etsy
Nursing Stool | Amazon
If you have questions about any of the other items, feel free to leave a comment below!
Being a new mama is so many things – exciting, amazing, emotional, terrifying and overwhelming just to name a few of these new feelings. All of a sudden your mind becomes consumed by this tiny human that never existed before – and I’ve heard that that never goes away! I’m always wondering if I’m doing what’s best for Henry with every decision and I think I’ll do that for the rest of my days. When I was pregnant, I read so many articles and blog posts on the quest for the best products for new moms and newborns, but I never really felt like one single post had everything I was looking for. So now that I have (a little) experience under my belt and somewhat of a routine in our newly adjusted household, I figured this was the best time to share what products and gadgets are working for our little family!
I had seen this product on Instagram and around the internet long before Henry arrived but really couldn’t justify spending almost $200 on a “pillow.” But when Henry arrived and I realized just how precious sleep was, I quickly changed my mind! So when Cyber Monday rolled around, I bit the bullet and ordered our first DockATot. Let me tell you, this thing is a lifesaver and not just a “pillow!” The first night we used it, our little babe slept SEVEN hours straight at just 6 weeks old. I’m a believer!
For Henry’s first five weeks of life, this chair sat in the corner collecting dust. Until one day, not even the Mamaroo could make the little dude happy, so we had to try something new. We pulled out the Baby Bjorn chair and it has quickly become our household favorite! While Henry can’t bounce it himself yet and we do have to sit there and bounce it for him, he absolutely loves it and is so peaceful when he’s bouncing away. When he has better head/neck control, he’ll be able to bounce it on his own. In the meantime, it’s a mini workout for mom & dad.
Who knew that babies loved sleeping to such weird sounds like white noise and vacuum cleaners?! From the very beginning, after reading books like Moms on Call and the like, we knew we would need some type of sound machine. Not only does it comfort our baby, but it also drowns out any noise we might be making in the other room (ie a clumsy mama in the kitchen!). We use this one and it hasn’t let us (or Henry) down, but there are a ton out there.
We all know how important it is to swaddle our babies when they’re born – it keeps them cozy and reminds them of their first home in our bellies where they had tight quarters to say the least. However, during those middle of the night feedings when you’re a total mombie, it can be tough to swaddle a flailing baby well. So whoever invented the Halo SleepSack, I thank you. You put your babe in and pull their arms through the openings, zip it up, and then use the velcro panels to swaddle your little one tight.
Of course we purchased the fancy video monitor before our baby arrived just like everyone told us to. But what they didn’t mention was that if you use a white noise machine, either you have to listen to said white noise ALL NIGHT LONG while you’re trying to sleep or risk not hearing your little one cry by turning the volume down too much. After some research, my husband found this VTech audio monitor that allows you to change the sound sensitivity so that it will only alert you when your baby is crying and completely drowns out your sound machine! Genius! So now we can see him on the video monitor and hear him on the audio monitor.
6. 4moms Tub:
The 4moms baby tub takes all the guess work out of determining whether your baby’s bath water is too hot or too chilly because it comes with a built in thermometer! It’s a little on the large side, so we use it in the regular bathtub where it fits perfectly. We purchased this insert to go inside so it’s a bit more comfortable for him and it helps prop him up a bit more while he’s still small.
If you’re like me, you thrive on routine. Getting my baby on a schedule was always a priority to me and I knew this long before I ever experienced my first 4am feeding. While Henry was napping one day, I downloaded this book to my iPad and started researching how to best get him on a schedule. This book, which relies on a beginning and end of the day set feeding time, combined with our new DockATot has really improved our sleep around here! Another helpful book is Baby Wise – whichever one works best for your family.
Some other tips I’ve found very useful:
Sleep ‘gowns’ are amazing. While the zip up pajamas and onesies are great and cute, the bottomless gowns are the best during those late night diaper changes when you don’t have to deal with zippers and snaps in the dark.
Don’t waste your money on a bottle sterilizer. Whether your significant other is helping out with feedings with your expressed milk or you’re formula feeding (or both!), you can simply use a large bowl and fill it with hot soapy water to clean your bottles. These sterilizer bags are also great and each bag can be used to to 20 times in the microwave.
You can’t have too many burp cloths.
Always have the next size diaper on hand. They grow out of that newborn size quickly! Our little guy is already bordering size two.
I’ve been peed on a handful of times already. Always cover your babe’s “spout” if you have a boy on your hands! Of course, it has happened twice in public. While many people said Peepee Teepees are a waste, I’ve found them helpful for this particular reason.
Keep late night feedings boring for your baby. Keep the lights dim (or off if you can), don’t change their diaper unless necessary (and use nighttime diapers that last longer!), don’t chat them up, etc. That way, they won’t be too riled and will hopefully fall back to sleep easily. If I have to change the diaper, I swaddle him right after instead of waiting until I put him back in the crib. Sometimes just swaddling him will wake him a bit and doing it ahead of time makes the transition from feeding to bedtime easier.
If you’re pumping, order extra pump parts! It’s so helpful to not have to continuously wash the parts. You can also keep them in the fridge and reuse them a couple times without washing them. I have a set for daytime and a set for nighttime. Anything that saves time is worth the investment.
Go for walks. During those first few months when you can’t tote your baby around Target, walks are a lifesaver. Not only will you get some fresh air and exercise, but your baby will enjoy it (or nap) too.
When friends, family and neighbors offer help, take it! We need it! If grandma offers to babysit for an hour just so you can get out and run an errand or hit your local Starbucks, do it. As much as you don’t want to leave your little one, a happy mom equals a happy baby. And cabin fever does NOT equal a happy mama!
I’ll be doing a post soon on my favorite new mama must-haves! Stay tuned.