Not that long ago, I put a question box up on my Instagram Stories asking what YOU would choose as a career for me (besides full time mommin’, of course) and I wasn’t surprised that most of the answers included “something with food” and “nutritionist.” I guess I’m pretty transparent! As many of you know I like to dabble here and there in all things I’m passionate about and food + living a healthy lifestyle have ALWAYS been at the very top of my list. So, I decided to do something about it and further my education on the subjects – more to come on that another time. But, it’s not only “back to school” time for my kids, it’s my turn too!
Just like I was always curious what everyone toted around in their purse when I was younger, I’m now always wondering what all the moms keep in their diaper bags! I figured it was a great time to share what I carry around, now that I have almost a year of motherhood experience under my belt. In the beginning, you couldn’t be too overly prepared – 5 blankets, 10 burp cloths, 16 changes of clothes for both baby and mama..the list goes on and my shoulders ache just thinking about it. Now, I know what I’ll need at what times of the day (thank you, schedule) – and I keep all that spare “just in case” stuff in the car instead of overflowing out of my bag. Here’s what’s in my diaper bag with an 11 month old:
Everyone tells you that the time seems to fly by at double speed when you become a parent. I never believed it.. but now I realize just how true it is. I can’t believe my baby is already 11 months old and that I’m planning his first birthday party. This was quite an eventful month in our world. Henry is definitely such a “mama’s boy” right now and his separation anxiety is at an all time high! If anyone has any experience with that, I’d love to hear your advice. I can’t believe next month will be our last “monthly update!” My baby boy will soon be a toddler and I’m full of ALLL the feels. Here’s what’s been going on in the past month:
If there’s one thing I can take away from motherhood, it’s that everything is temporary – and that includes your baby’s interests and needs. For better or for worse. With that being said, I’m sure most moms can relate when I say that I feel like I’ve purchased every baby toy and product under the sun to try to keep my kid entertained and happy for longer than 3.5 seconds. So today I figured I would share some of the things that have worked for our very curious and active baby from 9ish months until now (11 months). The items I’m sharing (everything is linked) are things he has always gone back to and aren’t some of the toys and baby products already collecting dust in the garage while waiting for the next child or sitting at the bottom of the toy bin. These are all actual TRIED & TRUE products that I’ve found useful as a busy mama to a baby who loves to explore.
Hey guys! I’m a little late on Henry’s 9 month update because we were on vacation & I purposely left my laptop at home for some quality fam time. Better late than never, right? And since it’s a little late, I figured this was a good opportunity to share what our daily life is like here at home with Henry’s schedule.
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.”
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Skechers. As usual, all opinions are my own.
The color red is totally outside of my wardrobe comfort zone. I feel like it’s a hue that definitely demands attention! However, every year around this time, I do try to get festive for the 4th of July and rock a little bit of red with my outfits. Then, I vow to wear the color more after I realize how much I love the bright & boldness.. and then the holiday passes and the cycle continues (le struggle). Anyhow, this year I decided to ‘step’ outside my bubble and team up with Skechers to put together some casual looks for the holiday with two pairs of cute & comfy shoes that can be worn year-round.
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.
“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:
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:
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 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!
One of my goals for 2017 is to get back to blogging more regularly. Not only do I love writing and sharing what’s on my mind and what I believe in, but it’s very therapeutic! With that being said, I’ve decided to introduce something new called “Friday Favorites,” which will allow me to share recipes, products, blogs and really just anything that I find across the web or around town that interests me (and hopefully YOU)! This will also hold me accountable to blogging on the reg since hopefully you guys will be looking forward to that Friday post. 💁🏻 So without further ado, here is the first of many “Friday Favorites!” 🎉
*Friday Favorites will never be a sponsored post. All of the opinions below are my own.
Chelsea’s Messy Apron’s One Pan Healthy Sausage & Veggies:
I came across this recipe recently on Pinterest and immediately ran to Whole Foods to get the ingredients. I LOVE Bilinski’s organic chicken sausage line and needed a new easy recipe that would last a few days in the fridge (because #momlife). You can mix up the veggies in this recipe as well as the type of sausage you use, making it super versatile and never boring.
Simple Mills Chocolate Chip Cookies:
When I found out that Henry couldn’t tolerate dairy that well, I had to make some dietary changes. Giving up dairy was tough, but I have done it in the past so I knew I could handle it. Simple Mills makes it so much easier! I am SO IN LOVE with their vegan chocolate chip cookie mix. I love adding cinnamon for an extra element of flavor.
Henry’s Friday Fave:
How could I write this post without including one of H’s faves of the week?! We all know how often our little one’s tastes change. Lately he’s been LOVING this rattle. I don’t get the allure – but it keeps his attention during tummy time! It came highly recommended and now I’m passing along the recommendation. ☺️
Thanks for following along, friends! Stay tuned for next week’s finds.
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!
Henry Jax Ginzler // October 24th, 2016 // 8 lbs. 11 oz & 22 inches long
I’ve gone back and forth many times about sharing our Henry Jax’s birth story (obviously – it’s been six weeks!). It’s something that of course is very personal to me and our families. At the same time, however, I remember reading other women’s birth stories while I was pregnant and feeling more at ease afterwards. Birth is truly a miracle. It’s scary, strenuous, exciting and beautiful all at once. The unknown is always terrifying and thrilling and since each birth is an ‘unknown’ per se, you never know what to expect ultimately.
The Friday before my due date, I had my weekly OB appointment. At that point, I was over being pregnant. I was swollen, tired and just downright uncomfortable. Not to mention I had about two shirts left that fit me and was about to move on to my husband’s closet. During my appointment, my doctor informed me I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced – which was great.. but still could’ve meant that I would be pregnant for another week or so. She asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes and I happily obliged. She said if I didn’t go into labor on my own over the weekend, she could induce me on Sunday night. I really wanted my doctor to deliver Henry (I’ve been seeing her for years), and in a group practice it’s whoever is on call that will deliver your baby. My doctor was on call Sunday night and then not again for another two weeks. Since I was just about 40 weeks at that point and really didn’t want to go too far past my due date, I decided to go with it.
Right after I left, it hit me. I called my husband in (happy) tears that we would finally be meeting our baby boy so soon and it was officially our last weekend as a party of two. We went out with friends that weekend, had our last date night alone for awhile, and tried EVERYTHING (our parents read this so I won’t expand on what ‘everything’ means ha!) to go into labor naturally. Of course, I didn’t go into labor. I overanalyzed every little feeling wondering if it could be a contraction or whatnot (which I’ve learned since then, you’ll KNOW if it’s a contraction). The only progression I had that weekend was losing my mucous plug – which is gross FYI. So, at 8pm on Sunday night, we drove to the hospital to begin my induction.
After getting checked into our labor room, getting settled, and seeing my doctor, she decided to break my water rather than start me on Pitocin to see if I could labor to 10cm on my own. There was meconium in my water, so we already knew right off the bat that Henry would be see by a perinatologist before I could hold him. VERY soon after breaking my water (which isn’t painful at all) the contractions began. I tried walking down the halls to keep progressing, but after two laps I couldn’t do it any longer. At that point, I asked for an epidural because the pain was unbearable for me (I was 5cm dilated). Contractions are zero fun and the epidural was truly a lifesaver. The procedure was easy and painless and I realized I had been worried about that for nothing. Afterwards, I didn’t feel a single other contraction for the rest of my labor.
What seemed like forever later, around 12-13 hours and on Henry’s actual due date, I finally progressed to 10cm all on my own. However, my contractions weren’t strong enough to push Henry’s head far enough into my pelvis to be able to begin pushing and he wasn’t in an ideal position, so my doctor wanted to give me a smidge of Pitocin and try switching up my position in bed to see it that would help get him moving. More time went by and my team decided it was time to try pushing. Let me tell you, pushing ain’t easy! The position for pushing a baby out is like doing a crunch on steroids and super taxing mentally and physically.
Needless to say, Henry wasn’t budging after an hour of pushing. At this point, my OB informed me that his heart rate was dropping with each push, and she couldn’t foresee him coming out anytime soon. We had to make a tough decision. Keep trying with a lot of risks or head into surgery for an emergency c-section. I never planned on or wanted a c-section. I never even read the part of all the baby books that talked about c-sections. It was never ever part of my “birth plan.” But, like everything else in life, you can plan all you want but that doesn’t mean that’s what you’ll get. So, we headed into the OR after 15 hours of labor.
The surgery itself was relatively quick (even though it didn’t feel like it in the moment) and the team working with me was incredible. The anesthesiologist was amazing and always checking to make sure I was feeling ok (since he was up by my head). My husband was able to stay with me the entire time and he watched the entire procedure. Henry was a big baby and literally stuck in my pelvis (I have a small frame!) – that was scary. Hearing what was going on with the doctor, midwife and nurse trying to push him back through my pelvis brought me to tears, again. I was nervous, scared and terrified. I hated not being able to see or control what was happening. After what felt like ages (but was really only minutes), I heard a baby’s cry and knew everything was okay. Henry Jax, our beautiful and healthy baby boy, was finally with us and that’s all that mattered right then. My husband went to be with Henry right away and was able to cut the cord while I was being sewn up. Afterwards, they brought Henry to me to hold and I just couldn’t believe we made him and that he was ours! After a few minutes, I began shaking uncontrollably from the anesthesia (ugh!) and had to give him back until I was in the recovery room.
Once in the recovery room, I was reunited with my little man and able to snuggle him, begin the breastfeeding journey (more on that later), and spend some one-on-one time with my hubby and newest family member. After an hour or so, we introduced Henry to his grandparents and two proud aunts. Parenthood has been quite the journey so far with lots of ups and downs (more on that later too). We’re so thankful and happy to be Henry’s parents and can’t wait to watch him grow!
Stay tuned for more on my motherhood journey..