Things have been a little drab in the fashion world because I have been wearing over-sized clothes and trying to hide an ever growing baby belly! Happy to say that we are now out with the news and I cant wait to embrace my bump and get back to posting. I know my maternity looks were quite popular when I was pregnant with Oliver and due to complicated evils of the internets I lost most of my blog posts and now they really only live on Pinterest. So let’s start again shall we?!
HOW OR WHY I HAVE YET TO SHARE THIS IS MIND BOGGLING – but, John made another amazing video in honor of Oliver’s first year of life. If you know us or know Oliver, prepare to get your tissue box out. We are so fortunate to have Johns home movies. Even if I do help shoot our films, they would be nothing but small clips without my magic maker.
At the end of June, Oliver celebrated his first year of life. You would think that a one year old would be more or less indifferent to a birthday party in their honor but I’m convinced that Oliver actually really did have the best day ever.
I scheduled his party to be perfectly between his naps. Only thing is that he didn’t want to go down for his first nap on time. He may have slept through the start of the party but when he woke up happy and rested and saw a yard full of friends from the window above his changing table he was so excited. He immediately joined them and got straight in the kiddie pool we had put out for him. He proceeded to spend the entire day there because he is obsessed with water. I pulled him out for watermelon “cake”, dripping wet and then plopped him right back in the pool where I hand fed him Mexican food haha.
Here are a few birthday party photos as well as Johns beautiful little film.
Olivers invite said “Oliver is Uno. Join us as we sprinkle him with love” so we went with a minimal black and white polka dot theme for the part decor.
I hand painted giant white polka dots on cheap paint drop cloths for picnic style seating. I figure everyone would more or less be on the ground with young ones anyhow.
This is really the only shot I got of the “cake” but basically its a watermelon with the ends cut off – covered in homemade very low sugar whip.
I originally started researching healthy low sugar smash cake recipes and then I saw a similar watermelon cake someone created for Fourth of July on pinterest and I thought- bingo! babies love fruit- its healthy AND I dont have to bake! Another bonus is that its beautiful when cut into. Looked like a red velvet cake. I highly recommend it!
Another fun thing we did was set up this baby photobooth of sorts. It was total chaos but in the best way possible. We got more pictures on our good camera but I’m a bad blogger with little time so here is one from my phone. eek. Check out O’s tan! (turns out we are related after all haha)
At parties end he zonked out hard, still wet from the pool and happy as a clam!
My Mother-In-Law recently admitted that she wasn’t sure what type of mother I might be or how I would embrace the roll.
As an only child from a small family, she doubted my experience or lack there of.
Not to say: she thought I’d be a bad mother, but more to say: she was pleasantly surprised to see the mother that emerged.
The truth is, that while I can understand where she might have doubt, I never once did.
I think most new first time mothers might tell you that they often feel flooded with doubts.
And where others might drown, I found myself in a carefree backstroke or water aerobics display.
In a joyful expression of dance.
Motherhood has always been my destiny.
I’ve known, from a young age, that in truth, I would never feel complete or completely find myself until I fulfilled that destiny.
And so I plunge.
Deep into the unknown- yet strangely familiar- warm, calming waters of motherhood.
Because together we are invincible.
Destined for greatness.
Sakura Bloom has started running their next series of Sling Diaries, where baby wearing families share photos, stories and reflections on life. Many of my friends (real life friends and internet friends alike) entered and many were chose to participate. Initially, I considered entering myself. I love the idea of being given a topic to write and reflect on, allowing me to slow down and focus on what it means to me and my family etc. I love the idea of taking adorable photos of my family and the close bond that baby wearing can create. But the longer I considered it, I decided against it. I still love the idea, and maybe I will consider participating in the next round. But in the end I feared that instead of being a beautiful bonding experience for our family, it might become another thing on a list of things I had to do and it might just frazzle me and in turn actually cause my family undo stress. Because, the truth is, I have enough on my plate right now. I’m a first time mom who works full time and sometimes tries to also manage a side business. And I want to spend any “off” time with Oliver and give him my full and undivided attention.
All that being said. When Sakura Bloom asked for entries they asked that participants write a short few paragraphs on the topic of curiosity. I wrote that entry and never did anything with it. I thought I might share it here and when the mood strikes me, I might share more of these thoughts or writings. Doing the sort of thing that I hoped that the Sling Diaries would allow me to do without the stress of time constraints or “having to do it”.
Here are my thoughts on curiosity:
As you grew and fluttered inside me, I wondered about you. What would you look like? Who would you be? Would you take on our traits or be a man of your own?
Once you arrived, I wondered whether your hair would stay dark and wavy like your mamas or whether it would slowly turn from black to blonde, the way your father’s sister’s did. What color would your eyes be when they finally settled from their soft gray? Would you forever remain this serious? Or had you simply not discovered your sense of humor yet?
Sometimes while nursing, I stare down into your clear blue eyes and just drink you in. All of your unknowns. And reflect on all of the tiny things I have already discovered, the little things that only your mother could know. Curiously staring into one another’s eyes in waiting. Waiting for the rest of our story to unfold and envelope us both.
I’m think about choppin some hairs lately. Mom life leaves me with little time for styling which means its usually up. Lately I’m liking these shorter looks. My hairs pretty fried at the ends from years of heat styling and ombré anyhow so I could stand to lose a few inches. My hair is also naturally wavy but its currently too long & heavy creating weird unruly, unpredictable waves with limp ends. So these shorter styles seem like a good choice, not to mention they are at least a teeny tiny bit less likely to get grabbed by little hands but maybe that last part is wishful thinking. What do you guys think? Will it help me feel fresh & fabulous? Or leave me with regretful “mom hair”? To chop or not to chop?
He parties HARD…
Last week Oliver turned two months old. And with it came a lot of emotions. I can’t believe my leave is officially half over. I was a pretty big ball of stress feeling like I had a million and one things that I needed to figure out in the next two months. Facing the realization that I will go back to work soon and all that comes with that. But I have since come to my senses and realize that everything has to happen one day at a time and that the scariest and hardest things are often overwhelming and that “it always seems impossible until it’s done”.
Oliver continues to “fill out” and is becoming quite the tank. It makes him all the more cuddly, which he loves to do lately. I’m hoping hes a mamas boy because I absolutely love it haha. His personality is slowly starting to show through but we are hoping he gets a better sense of humor soon as he only occasionally finds us funny or all that interesting. Hes “doing his nights” (sleeping well). Generally sleeping from 8pm-1am then waking again at 4 and then 6 or 7. It feels like quite the luxury since until recently he was waking every 2 hours to nurse. His hair has lightened up but seems like it will still be brown and although still a touch gray, his eyes look like they will be pretty blue.
And I will also include this ridiculous outtake. Doesn’t he look like a cartoon character? Like hes smoking an imaginary cigar like a 1920′s detective !!! “Listen here, seeeeee….he’s guilty I tell ya”
worlds most adorable onesie is from Winter Water Factory (but it’s currently sold out)
Last week we celebrated Oliver’s first month. I can’t believe that a month has already flown by. I feel like I blinked and a month had passed. It makes me realize how fast my maternity leave will be up and before I know it he will be 12 years old and taller than me. Okay, I might be getting carried away haha. To celebrate the most awesome of months we went to the Long Beach Aquarium with Emily, Adam and Chico (our godson). In all honesty Oliver couldn’t have cared less haha, duh, but we are eager for our boys to have fun adventures together so we went for it.
Emily is a big fan of baby carriers (that might be an understatement) and I was eager and interested in trying the Sakura Bloom ring sling. The biggest lure for me was the idea that I could nurse in the sling. Nursing can be a challenge when you are out and about. For example, yesterday I found myself at Target. I was waiting for a family fitting room (which were all occupied by non families- ugh) but before I could get to trying anything on the baby lost it and needed to nurse. I immediately latched him but then had to navigate my stroller with one hand, hold him with the other and try to find a bench- minor chaos. So to be able to do some hands free nursing sounded amazing. Several baby carriers say that you can nurse in them, but I haven’t found it to be true for newborns. So before buying yet another baby carrier, I asked Emily if I could try one of hers out (since she owns several).
I really enjoyed the sling experience for several reasons. I was able to successfully nurse in it and not only that but I was able to go about my hands free business. No finding a bench and doing nothing for 20 mins!
Another thing I really love about the Sakura sling is how easy it is to adjust and put on, especially between wearers. We currently own the Solly Baby Wrap and the Ergo Carrier. We like both of them but they do have their issues. The Solly take a while to get on, you have to wrap it up and around and then load the baby in. It’s not hard, but it does take a moment and if you have a fussy baby, it can feel like “too long”. The Ergo will likely be great as Oliver gets bigger but currently it has its downsides. One being that you have to adjust all the straps to change it between wearers. Two- to use as a newborn, you have to use this padded infant insert that makes it really hot for the little guy and three- you can’t nurse a newborn in it (same with the Solly).
The dads love that they can easily wear the baby as well. Honestly, these two dreamboats always want to wear their babies! “Can I wear him now?” Needless to say, we were pretty impressed so we have decided to add one to our arsenal!
I also snapped a few pics of Ollie’s cute outfit, since he was hiding in the sling all day haha. He was grumpy about it.
Then we had a little nursing session and he felt much better about it!
(Oliver’s outfit is from baby Gap)
It’s my opinion that most people buy way too much stuff for baby. When we told people we intended to stay in our tiny 500 and something square foot cottage after Oliver arrived, many of them thought we were kind of crazy. We knew it might be a little challenging, but definitely do-able. I thought I would share a few of the products that made it possible for us.
1. The Bloom Alma Mini Crib $340
comes in brown/orange/green/ gray/ white
This thing is perfect and has really been ideal in our small space. For one thing, the baby’s room is very narrow. This crib is actually on wheels and narrow enough to easily pass through doorways from room to room. This has been great because in the early months as I am night nursing Oliver, we can have his crib right next to our bed and not take up too much more room than your standard co-sleeper. Then in the morning when we go out into the living room we simply roll the crib out with us. Who needs a pack n’ play? (Downside: typically this crib only works for about a year+ or so depending on the size of your baby. It does not convert to a toddler bed and there for has a shorter life span. But for us, it works. Also, because it is a unique mattress size you are limited to buying very specific pricey sheets. Or you could make your own with this pattern I found on Pinterest)
2. Boon Naked Collapsible Bathtub $60comes in orange/teal/green
Forget the Puj tub, this Boon tub is where its at! It’s sturdy, its simple and IT COLLAPSES TO FOLD FLAT! It has a hook so you can hang it in the shower to dry or store it behind a door or in a closet. We simply tuck it underneath our clawfoot tub!
This one is a bit pricey for what it is. And for the price, you could argue that you could get a bouncer that does a lot more. But what we love about this one is that 1. it folds flat and comes with a nice travel bag that you can store it in. 2. its not covered in obnoxious ugly “baby” patterns. One of my biggest pet peeves about baby stuff is how ugly it always is. Why does it have to be covered in cartoon characters? No thank you. I think the clean simplicity is key, especially in a small space. When living in a small space, so many of your things and babies things blend together and have to work in any room in the house. Also, did I mention it folds flat? In case you haven’t noticed, that’s a pretty big theme in our small space!
UPDATE: A friend gifted us the Baby Bjorn seat and I actually like it much better. It’s one piece instead of two and still folds up flat. Even smaller than the Bloom.
Having a small space, my husband and I discussed quiet a bit what we needed and didn’t need. He argued that we didn’t need a boppy because “don’t we have enough pillows?! Where is that thing gonna go? It’s just going to stay out on the couch all the time?!”. Yes, yes it is going to stay out on the couch all the time. I think the boppy is definitely a necessary item if you are breastfeeding. Nursing can wreak havoc on your back and anything that can make it easier is great! But to his point, do I really want it sitting out on the couch all the time covered in some dumb cartoon character print? No, no I don’t. Enter the boppy slip cover. You can find a bunch of fabric options on etsy that will blend a lot better with your decor. This makes living with baby things in a small space much more bearable.
What I liked about this changing station was that it was SLIGHTLY smaller than most and fit on our smaller dresser top (just barely). I also found one of the more typical fabric covered foam cushion tops that would have barely fit but what I love about this one is that it wipes down clean! I cant tell you how many times a newborn will poop or pee right after you take their diaper off (sometimes more than once or twice)! So rather than have to strip off the cover and wash off the poop you can simple wipe this bad boy down and move on with your life. Or go back to sleep. Making things so much simpler!
Some of these items may be on the pricier side but for us, making our small space work means staying in an expensive neighborhood. So the pay off was worth it to us! Any other small space moms have items they recommend or cant live without?
Hi guys, I thought I would touch base since posts have been a little irregular lately. I’m still getting settled in my new mama roll. Some days I can barely remember to do really important things let alone write a blog post, and some days I would rather just sit on the couch with my new family and watch a marathon session of Orange is the New Black or Sons Of Anarchy. The thing is, I have taken photos that I intend to share with you but some days I just cant get to actually posting them! Oliver is going through a bit of a developmental growth spurt as of recently and its leaving him a little cranky and a little clingy (okay it might be making us all a little cranky some days haha). Its hard to even think about putting down a fussy baby to write a self indulgent blog post about what we wore. I do hope to get back to my fashion posts more regularly soon, if not my own outfits- Oliver’s. But in the mean time we hope you will stick with us and keep an eye on what we are doing as we figure this whole thing out!
Gotta run, the bug is waking! xoxo