The First Week - We Made It

3.26.2015

Sam is now 11 days old.  Why does the time go by so quickly?  I feel like just the other day I was questioning whether or not I should be heading to the hospital.

The first two days after leaving the hospital were the hardest.  Mainly because I was stressing myself out about breastfeeding... my milk hadn't come in quite yet, and Sam didn't want to have anything to do with even trying to nurse because he knew what he wanted and it wasn't there yet.  So of course, I felt awful.  All the crazy hormones don't quite help either.  But after a little crying, a call to the lactation specialist at the hospital, and my supportive husband.. we made it through.

But honestly, my toddler has been more of a challenge than my newborn.  I knew it was going to be a big change for her, and I've tried to make the transition as smooth as I could.. but I think her acting out a little was just going to be inevitable.  But that's a whole other story for a different day...

On day 3 of being home from the hospital, Sam had his checkup.  He looked perfect.. lost some ounces, which is normal.. and the milk had come in full-force so he was happy.  I'm thrilled to say that breastfeeding is still going well, and gets a little bit easier as time goes on.  I'm hoping it stays this way.

At 7 days old, he had his first outing - this mama was itching to get out of the house.  We took Clara to a local kids museum, and it went fairly well.  Since then we've also been to the park a couple times and out to eat once.  That's a lot of adventure for an 11 day old.  ;)  But when Clara was a baby, we did whatever we wanted.  We didn't let having a child hold us back from going anywhere or doing something fun.. and I'm convinced that's why she's always (95% of the time, anyway) been such a good traveler and so good whenever we go out somewhere.  And it'll be the same way with Sam.. I hope, haha.

And so here it is.. day 11.  Clara's at school today.. we are trying to get ourselves back into a routine.. Coleman still has a couple weeks off of work - thank God because I'm not ready to be left alone yet - and my parents visit in one week.  Lots to look forward to.. trying to soak it all in.. the baby smells, coos & noises, the little faces he makes.. it goes by too fast.


And I promise, I'm happy.. do you know how hard it is to take a selfie like this?  It wasn't easy - I was concentrating.. ha!  ;)

Earth Mama Angel Baby {review}

3.25.2015

When it comes to your baby (and you!), there are so many different products to choose from these days... and so many of them that have harsh chemicals added.  It's hard for me to think about putting those things on such delicate baby skin.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Products

I was gifted with the Big Push Birth & Baby Kit by Earth Mama Angel Baby, and was so excited to be able to try everything out!  Their products are 100% organic, cruelty-free, and vegan.  I had no doubt in my mind that they were just the right products for my little babe and I.  Here's what is included in this particular kit (they also have a kit for all you c-section mama's, too)..

Earth Mama Angel Baby Products

New Mama Bottom Spray & Mama Bottom Balm
-- Both of these items are fabulous for that first week (especially those first few days) after giving birth.  They're both naturally cooling and work well together to soothe soreness and discomfort.

Organic Monthly Comfort Tea
-- This caffeine-free tea is supposed to be great to soothe those cramps you have the first couple days after childbirth.  I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to use it monthly for cramps once I need to!  *Not safe during pregnancy, but safe to use while breastfeeding.

Natural Nipple Butter
-- This is my FAVORITE.  It's lanolin free and non-GMO.. it's so smooth and doesn't create a sticky mess!  I would buy this over and over again.. I only wish I had known about this when I had Clara.  If you've ever breastfed, you know how terribly sore, dry, cracked, and irritated you can get.  It's so aggravating to me.. kind of makes you want to cry a little every time you need to nurse.  But this butter is heaven-sent.  Most importantly, it's safe.  There's no need to wipe it off before feedings.. in fact, I've used it on my baby for chapped lips once or twice!

Postpartum Bath Herbs
-- Childbirth is a bit harsh on your lady parts.. nature of the beast.  After childbirth you can use these herbal pads iced for any achey bits.. and then you can use them again later in a bath for more soothing.  This particular blend of herbs helps to heal and soothe any soreness, tears, or bruising.  I haven't used these either, but when I'm able to take a bath - I will!


Earth Mama Angel Baby Products

Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash
-- Ok, this stuff smells amazing.  It's naturally scented with vanilla and sweet orange essential oils.  It's gentle and hasn't dried out my little guy's delicate skin.  Again, it has no chemical additives.. however, this is not a 'no-tear' formula.  Just use a little extra caution when using it on your littles!  :)

Angel Baby Oil
-- Natural baby oil for your sweet babes - we used quite a bit of baby oil when Clara was an infant.  It's great for cradle cap and to really moisturize their delicate skin.  Also great to use to give them a little massage.. I find that helps calm my babies down a lot.  :)

Angel Baby Lotion
-- This also smells yummy.. again with the vanilla orange scent.  Clara loves to help rub her baby brother down with this stuff.  Who doesn't love a yummy smelling baby?

Angel Baby Bottom Balm
-- This is another one I haven't had the chance to use yet.  His little newborn bottom hasn't gotten a rash yet.  However, once I do have to use it, I have no doubt that I'll love it.  Their website states that it's also "soothing to thrush, itchy bug bites, scrapes, chicken pox, minor rashes, and burns."  And it's made with a blend of antibacterial and antifungal herbs.  Sounds like a pot of gold to me!

All in all, I loved these products.  I would absolutely recommend them to any expecting mama, and wouldn't use anything else again.  Like I said before, I'm sad I didn't have this when Clara was born! 

Earth Mama Angel Baby provided me with the Big Push Birth & Baby Kit in exchange for a review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Welcome to the World

3.20.2015


This past Sunday.. at 40 weeks and 3 days.. our sweet Samuel decided to finally make his appearance.  I was so anxious for him to arrive, but the week I was due Clara came down with the flu - so I'm thankful he decided to wait a little longer.  :)  I'm happy to report that he is a happy and healthy baby - and that everyone in our house is now healthy too.. except I still have a little cold (has anyone had to go through labor and delivery with a super bad stuffy nose and cough?  it's awful.).

We are absolutely head over heels for this little guy.  Clara loves smothering him with smooches.. how could you not?  We're all still learning how to be a family of 4.. it's quite the adjustment.. but we're all so smitten with our latest addition.  We make cute babies.

So if I'm MIA for a little bit - you know my reason.  And it's the sweetest reason I could have.

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups {recipe}

3.14.2015

One of the things I love to do is be in the kitchen with Clara.. and she always enjoys being my helper, too.  It's something fun that we can do together and I love getting her involved with cooking dinner or baking when I can.  Of course I think she likes baking the best, but who can blame her?  She has a sweet tooth just like her mama.  ;)  I'm a lover of the classics, so I thought these Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups filled with some vanilla ice cream would be a perfect mother-daughter kitchen creation!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

All you need for these is a package of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, muffins tins & liners (I found it easiest to get them out of the tin if they have liners), your favorite vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and any of your favorite toppings.

I took a small cookie scoop and put one scoop into each muffin liner and gently pressed them down.  I baked them in a 350 F oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are browned.  Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes and then cool on a wire rack the rest of the way.  The centers will sink down as they cool.

Aren't they just adorable.. who doesn't like a cute dessert?  They would be fun for birthdays or just for a special treat!  And using the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough just makes it so much more quick and easy (especially for this extremely pregnant and tired mama).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Thanks to Nestle Toll House for sponsoring this post and inspiring me to make a fun treat with my little one!

What's in my Diaper Bag? {Timi & Leslie diaper bag review}

3.02.2015

I've never been a huge fan of diaper bags.  They basically take the place of your purse for the first two years of your kids life, and a lot of them seem to be so... not cute.  But then I came across Timi & Leslie.  Their bags don't look like diaper bags - shoot, I'd carry it around as my purse even if I didn't have a baby!  They have a good selection to choose from, and I decided on the Dawn 7-piece Diaper Bag Set in Caramel to review.


Totally doesn't look like a diaper bag, right?  The classic caramel leather would go with any outfit.  And not only is it obviously cute, it's practical and functional.  It has six interior pocket and 3 exterior pockets for optimum organization, it's water-resistant and easy to clean, it comes with a cross body strap in case you need to go hands-free and it comes with stroller straps so you can easily hang the bag from your stroller.  Also, it comes with a nice changing pad, an insulated bottle tote, and a stylish matching clutch you can use as your purse - I was really excited about this.. being able to keep my things noticeably separate is important to me!  This bag is super spacious and has plenty of room for all those necessities (for baby and toddler and myself) that I need to keep in it!

I always like to know what others keep in their bags.. maybe I'm lame, but I think it's interesting, so I thought I'd share what I have in mine at the moment.  I'm 10 days away from my due date, and little man will be here any time now.  One of the exciting things about getting a diaper bag... is filling it up and getting it all ready for the sweet babes!



What's inside:
  1. Diapers, wipes, changing pad.. a given.
  2. An extra outfit.. or two if you know your kiddo likes to have some blowouts or major spit-up episodes.  Also little baggies in case I need to toss a dirty diaper (or for soiled clothes) and there's no where to toss it, or I don't want to stink up someone's trash.  ;)
  3. A bib and burp cloths.
  4. A couple little toys/rattles/lovey's.
  5. Dr.  Brown's paci wipes and a pacifier, of course.
  6. I keep the little clutch that it came with inside the bag and in it I keep my wallet, sunglasses, keys, phone, hair tie, chapstick/gloss, hand sanitizer & lotion.  That way I can just grab it quickly if I don't need to take the whole bag.
  7. Nursing cover & nursing pads.
  8. Ring sling.
  9. Bébé au Lait Muslin Swaddle blanket.
  10. A little first aid kit of sorts - Band-aids, Neosporin, etc, along with diaper cream.
  11. Stuff for Clara:  A little drawing pad and crayons, a snack, a sippy cup of water.
Thanks to Timi & Leslie for the chance to bring you a review of this bag - check them out on Facebook!  I'm thinking I might come back and do another post on this after I've had the chance to carry it around and put it to real good use when little man gets here.  But for now.. What do you keep in your diaper bag?  Am I missing anything?  It's been a long time since I've had to pack up one up!

Timi & Leslie sent me this bag in exchange for a review.  All thoughts on it are 100% mine.

Snow Days

2.25.2015

We are on our third "snow day" of the week.  I woke up this morning annoyed that school was once again canceled.. but I think I'm just antsy and ready to have this baby boy.  I'm 38 weeks now and in complete discomfort.  I'm to the point where I'm done nesting - I'm too tired.  My hips and legs hurt, I sleep okay up until about 3am, and my belly is so so tight.  I don't think it's possible for it to stretch any more (although I've been lucky enough to evade any stretch marks once again.. so far).  I think I'm just anxious for everything - wondering when exactly I will go into labor, hoping I have time to get Clara where she needs to go before I head to the hospital, etc.  I know it will all work out either way.  And I'm not the only one who's anxious - Clara keeps asking almost every day now when baby brother will be here.. and I have no doubt that my husband is tired of listening to me huff and puff.  I'm just going to go ahead and be thankful its not 100 degrees outside like it was when Clara was born.

Anyway, I thought about it this morning.. and after being annoyed about the snow day, I decided I needed to be thankful.  And I am.  Thankful for these few extra days with my girl before this new little one arrives.  Time for just me and her.  I'm a little worried with how she will be when a newborn is taking up a lot of my time.. but again, I know everything will be okay.  Tuesday I took her out to the nail salon.. and I got a pedicure.. and she had her toes and nails painted.  She thought she was pretty special.. she got to sit in these fun "big girl chairs" and all.  ;)  As she sat next to me while they finished up my pedicure, she was smiling at her sparkly pink fingers and then she turns to me and says "I love you, Mama".. heart.. melt..

On Monday we had enough snow to go out and play in.. Clara was so excited as she was watching it fall from the kitchen window.  :)



Wesson loved the snow, too.  It was pretty funny to watch him run around in it.  He's a big pain in my rear, but he's pretty cute covered in snowflakes, don't you think?  And Clara would have shoveled snow up all day if I let her.  



The snow is all melted now, it never does last long down here.. and it's suppose to be back up to the 50's next week.  At least I won't have to be worried about driving on icy roads if I go into labor (at least for right now).. and I'm hoping labor comes sooner rather than later!  I'd totally be okay with not seeing week 40...

PS- Don't forget to enter my current giveaway here (ends 3/4/15).