Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Vivian's Newborn Photos

On Saturday, April 18, when Vivian was just 7 days old, our sweet friend and photographer, Julie Brooker, took Vivian's newborn photos for us. She has taken our family photos for the last couple of years, and we always cherish the amazing shots she manages to capture. We knew she'd do a fantastic job, and she didn't disappoint. Looking at these precious shots makes my heart swell to bursting!

I tried to just pick favorites, but even just the favorites ended up being a lot of photos. Sorry I'm not sorry:)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Judgy, Judgy, Judgy {And a Silver Lining}

Hi ladies! Hope you all had a very happy Memorial Day weekend! We didn't do much of anything, as B worked both Sunday and Monday. Such is the life of a young doctor and his wife. We did manage to make it out of the house for an impromptu cookout at B's grandmother's house last night, which gave me an excuse to dress the kids in outfits to coordinate with the holiday. And Vivian may or may not have rocked a little pair of eyelet trimmed booties that were mine when I was a baby:)

B spent the entire week last week on trauma night call at the hospital. For those of you who don't know what the entails, here's a brief breakdown for you: He would leave the house every day around 5:30 pm. His shift started at 6 pm and went until after rounds the following morning - usually somewhere around 9 am. He would arrive home sometime around 10 am, head to bed until 3 pm or so, and then get up and get ready to do it all over again. As you can see from his schedule, the poor guy was running on very little sleep. And was home to help out very little, leaving me with all motherhood and household duties for the entire week. Throw in a fussy infant, whose primetime crying hours seem to be 1 am to 4 am or so, and a rambunctious toddler, who wakes up at 6 am every morning, no matter what... And you've got one tired Mama.

When Friday finally rolled around, and B had completed his last night call rotation and headed home for the day, I was one happy girl. In order to let him sleep a bit, I dropped Caleb off at great grandma's house, and Vivian and I headed out to run a few errands and do some browsing. I made sure to nurse Vivian right before I dropped Caleb off and we headed out, thinking that I now had at least three hours to get some things done. I was so excited for the opportunity to walk around in a store or two, look at some pretty things, and not be needed by anyone for a bit. 

Mini muffin and I headed to Kohls. Began browsing. Made it to the dressing room. And the squalling began. Vivian's tiny cries soon escalated to very angry hollers. Nothing I could do within the confines of that dressing room was going to settle her down, so I threw my clothes on, hustled her out, and headed for the front of the store. Though she was crying, I refused to leave the store without making my purchase, as I never know when I'll get another chance to run out again with just one child in tow. My mind was still relatively clear at this point, and there was no one in line, so I dashed for an open register, rocked the stroller back and forth as the cashier quickly rang me up, grabbed my receipt, and then bolted out of there, careful not to meet the eyes of everyone I passed, as I know I was getting looks with my screaming baby.

We made it to the car, where I decided to change Vivian's diaper. I packed the stroller into the trunk. Unbuckled her million car seat straps, and pulled her out. She was barely dirty, but I knew that a clean diaper was the first step to happiness with my finicky little gal. After changing her diaper, she still seemed fidgety, so I decided to go ahead and nurse her. At this point, I was willing to do anything to keep the peace and enjoy my few stolen hours of free time. So, I pulled the car to a more private parking space at the edge of the lot, whipped out the boob, and nursed her in the front seat of the car. She seemed pretty satisfied at this point. So I nestled her back into her carrier. Buckled her in. And got myself situated. At this point, 40 precious minutes had passed. My next stop was TJ Maxx, which just happened to be in the same shopping center as the Kohl's, albeit at the opposite end. So, we drove to the other end, and in that short amount of time, Vivian blew it up. Another dirty diaper. Sigh. So I once again began the process of unbuckling each buckle. Pulled her from her carrier. And changed another - much messier - diaper. Then tucked her back into her carrier. Unpacked the heavy stroller. Clipped her in. Grabbed my own bag. And we finally began to make our way into only our second store of the day. Anyone understand why being a mother is so exhausting now? (and why so little gets accomplished sometimes).

Once in the store, we began browsing the kid's section and then headed for the dresses. And the crying began again. The motion of the moving stroller wasn't helping. Finally, I unbuckled her and pulled her from her car seat, deciding to just carry her while browsing. At this point, I was feeling pretty flustered. I was walking, bouncing the baby, and pushing the stroller, which was not very conducive to shopping. Despite my desperate attempts to calm her, the crying continued. And people started looking. And my neck started burning. Burning with shame because for the life of me, I could not soothe my fussy baby. Burning with embarrassment for feeling like a failure as a mother. And burning with anger because, dadgum, I needed that shopping trip. I needed just one day to myself. One day to shop around, do what I needed to do, and get some things done that I had not had one single second to get done earlier in the week.

Fact: Most peoples' judgy faces aren't nearly this cute.
When I realized that actual shopping was not going to happen and that nothing was going to work to calm my fussy baby, I nestled sweet Vivian back down into her carrier, and fled the store in tears. Once again keeping my eyes to the ground to avoid the judgy stares of the other shoppers in the store. Judgy, judgy, judgy. Let me tell you, those judgmental looks were the very last thing this exhausted, emotional mama needed on that day. I got to my car, packed everything back in, buckled myself into my seat, and let the tears flow. I sent a text to another sweet mama friend who I've come to count on dearly during these tough days (hi, Lynn!) Called another sweet friend to vent (hi, Erin!) And then headed home. Feeling like a sad puppy with my tail between my legs. I'd gotten nothing accomplished, felt even more physically and emotionally drained than I had before, and just wanted the safe refuge of my house, where I didn't have to worry about judgmental strangers making rash assumptions about my child, or about me as a mother. Where I could pull up my laptop, and browse online for what I needed without having to worry about when my child might decide to cry.

Moral of the story: Next time you see a mama struggling with a child or two in a public place, do her a favor. Don't judge her. Being a mama is hard enough as it is. Don't shame her. Trust me, she's already feeling shamed enough. Even the best mamas can't predict when their toddler might scream for no apparent reason. Or when their infant might fuss without stopping.

One good thing did come of my return home. I was able to shop some of the half-yearly sale at Nordstrom and scored this adorable top and this closet staple for amazing prices. And I keep going back to look at this one-button wrap - with Nordstrom's free shipping, this pretty may end up in my closet too. Guess there is a silver lining to this story:)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fun Finds, Baby Wraps & Updates {Friday Link Ups}

This week has been a tough one. B has been on night call all week, leaving me with dinner and nighttime duties for both children all week long. And though he's home during the day, he is sleeping in preparation for the next night shift, so I've been on single mama duty 24/7 for the last 5 days and nights. When it was just Caleb, the overnight call shifts were not a big deal. But now that Vivian is around, things are a lot more interesting. Between feeding Caleb dinner and nursing Vivi every couple of hours, wrangling the two year old for bathtime and bed time, then cleaning up the house from all of the day's shenanigans, it's been 10 pm or later before I finally get to sit down myself and watch a bit of tv or blog. Then I still have to drag my ragged, exhausted self into the shower (which is why I've worn a mom bun every single day this week). And about that time, Vivian usually decides it is the perfect time to start screaming. It's been a stellar week for sleep in the K household, let me tell you. I've been calling it a win if I get 4 hours. To top it all off, I am off caffeine now while nursing. Lovely.

The good news is: It's Friday! Night shift is over today. Hallelujah, amen! I'm ready to celebrate. Let's get to our Friday five.

Aless Baylis #type #friday

1| Recent Finds
With an upcoming beach trip in the works, I can't help thinking ahead about what I need in anticipation of our vacation. B, Caleb and I all need a few updates on the basics (flip flops, cover ups, beach totes, etc), so I've started making purchases when I see things that we need. Here's a few fun things that I've purchased in the last week or two.

This adorable bag. The stripes. The leather handles. I love literally everything about it. It's the perfect size for an overnight trip. A great carry-on. Diaper bag. Whatever. Love it. 

Women's Striped Canvas Tote Handbag with Removeable Crossbody Strap - Navy/White

I also picked up these sandals, which I foresee being adorable with cut-offs and a simple tee or paired with a casual sundress on lazy summer days. 

And Vivian got this precious bathing suit. I mean. The flamingos. The bow. The bubble shape. So stinkin' cute. And on sale now!

2| Push Present
Last week, an absolutely gorgeous little package arrived in the mail for me. B ordered this pretty gold necklace for me as a push present, and I absolutely love it. With Caleb, he gifted me a pair of earrings with blue stones in them. And I also have a gold bar bracelet with Caleb's name on it. But this is my first piece of jewelry with Vivian represented on it. I love that a reminder of both of the little people in my life is always around my neck, right above my heart. Love, love, love. He did good.

3| Solly Wrap for Sale
A few weeks ago when I ordered my Solly Baby Wrap for Vivian, I somehow made the mistake of ordering two. I thought I'd just send it back for a refund, but amidst the whirlwind early arrival of Vivian, I totally forgot about it. And have now missed the 30 day window required for returns. Womp, womp, womp. So...I thought I'd offer it up here on the blog to see if anyone is interested in purchasing it from me. It is the Natural Grey and White Stripe wrap - which is very popular and currently on backorder. It's brand new, never opened, and still in the box. They are $65 (plus shipping) on the Solly website, so I was hoping to get $55 for mine (plus $6 shipping). Solly rarely offers sales, so if you're interested, I'd love to sell you mine for a discount. Comment below or email me with your Paypal email address if you're interested, and I will plan to invoice through Paypal. First come, first serve!

4| Last Day of MMO
Caleb's last day of Mother's Morning Out was yesterday. I managed to grab a quick photo of him with the same chalkboard sign that I used on his first day back in August. Can you believe how much he's grown? 

I remember dropping him off on his first day of school. Him clinging to my shirt, and kicking his little legs in terror at being left. I remember rushing out with a lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes, wondering if I was making the right decision by letting him go to school. And now? I am SO glad we made the decision to enroll him. Caleb has grown and changed so much, and learned, and made friends that he never would have met had we not decided to send him. He's done so well. And his teachers have been so sweet to him. We dropped off little teacher gifts earlier this week for his three teachers. Caleb decorated the bags with his handprint, and inside each bag, I placed a monogrammed tumbler with a Target gift card.

5| An Update on Vivian
This week, Vivian had her one month well-check. Our sweet peanut weighed in at 9 lbs 13 ounces (she's gained almost 3 pounds since birth!) putting her in the 50th percentile for weight. And she's 20 1/2 inches long, which is also 50th percentile for height. Growing girl! While at her appointment, we also sat down with the doctor to discuss some issues we've been having with Vivian. As some of you may have noticed from my recent IG posts, our sweet gal has been struggling with some digestive issues. At first we thought it was just her fussy time every day. But when her crying started escalating to screaming, and began occurring every. single. night. we realized that something was wrong. Then she started spitting up after eating. I started cutting dairy and all caffeine (even chocolate - sad mama bear) out of my diet to see if it helped. And it didn't seem to make a significant difference. So we talked to her her doctor and he prescribed Zantac. So far, she's on day four of the medication, and we are hoping that it makes a significant difference soon. The jury is still out. Tuesday night, I truly almost lost it. She scream-cried off and on from 7:30 pm until 4 am. Let me tell you friends, you've never had your patience tested until you've listened to an infant scream for 9 hours. It's been better since then, so hopefully our little peanut is starting to feel better. Fingers crossed!

Linking up with the following blogs for the weekly Friday fun!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Covered Goods

When I was pregnant with Caleb, I never thought to purchase a nursing cover. It just wasn't something that ever crossed my mind. I wasn't sure whether or not I would be able to breastfeed, so aside from the basic items I knew I would need - like a breastpump, since I knew that I would be returning to work - I didn't think much further. 

However, when weeks turned into months, and the breastfeeding relationship between Caleb and I was still going strong, I began to take note of things that were helpful and not helpful while nursing. And not having a nursing cover was something that was definitely not helpful. I became a pro at throwing a blanket over myself and Caleb while nursing, but it was never comfortable for public use, and I was always worried that one of Caleb's little feet or hands would sweep the blanket completely off, exposing my bare breasts for all who were around to see. It was also uncomfortable having to lift up my shirt and have my whole back exposed while nursing, since the blankets were never big enough to cover my whole front and back.

This time around, I knew I wasn't going to go the blanket route. With a busy toddler running around, and more activities to be participating in, I knew Vivi and I would be nursing on the go more often. A nursing cover was an essential this time. I started doing some research into nursing covers, and decided that the glorified apron-style ones just weren't for me. Nope. And then I found Covered Goods. A company that is mama-founded, and focused on one goal: helping mamas nurse comfortably anytime, anywhere. Love.

If I've got to wear a nursing cover, at least I can wear a stylish one. Not only are the Covered Goods nursing covers stylish, they are multi-functional. Sweet Jamie - the owner and founder of the company - sent me the floral nursing cover to review for this post. 

As you can see, the cover doubles as an infinity scarf when not being used for nursing. It can also be used as a car seat cover. And obviously, it can comfortably be used for its original purpose of nursing bebes of all sizes. Sweet little Vivian joined me to model for the pictures below (see her little feet poking through the fabric?) 

As you can see, the cover is large enough to keep her completely concealed. But the lightweight, breathable material prevents baby from getting too hot. And the stretchy fabric allows mama to keep her arm up under the cover if preferred, or pop it out for more flexibility. The cover can easily be pulled away from the chest to check on baby as needed.

My absolute favorite part about it? The fact that it covers the back too. Which is a feature you won't find in any other nursing covers. There's nothing worse than walking around in public, trying to nurse your baby, and knowing that your whole backside is hanging out because your shirt is pulled all the way up to your chest. As if being a new mama doesn't make you conscious enough of what you look like! Covered Goods makes this one less thing to worry about.

Though I reviewed the floral nursing cover, Jamie has a bunch of other fun, trendy designs right now. She just introduced some new patterns actually, which made it very hard for me to choose which one I liked best! The black and ivory aztec and the black and ivory summer stripe were close contenders.

Black & Ivory Aztec   Black & Ivory Summer Stripe

Here's a bit more about Covered Goods, from their website: 

NO MORE FEAR of being exposed! Covered Goods™ nursing covers give you all the benefits that the traditional covers do… and more! Covered Goods™ nursing covers provide true ALL OVER COVERAGE, front and back, and are made of super comfy, breathable fabric that stretches. Covered Goods™ nursing covers allow you and your baby to nurse comfortably. There aren't any straps or rings to mess with, they take seconds to put on and take off, and they alleviate any worry that your baby will kick or pull your cover off.  The flexible neck is also able to be worn down under one arm to give you even more freedom while nursing. The added benefit of the flexible neck allows you to peek in on your baby or make sure your little one has latched properly. The cover can be folded very small and in any fashion for storage without the worry of ruining it. With Covered Goods™, you can truly nurse anytime, anywhere!

 Mamas, if you need a nursing cover, look no further. Check out Covered Goods!