Healthy babies. Two of them. And that husband of mine, too. It’s no secret what I’m thankful for this year.
I couldn’t be more excited for the holidays. Isla is old enough to sort of understand Christmas (or at least get excited about the presents she’ll find that morning) and to have a happy, healthy baby joining us is the star on the tree (look, let me be cheesy for just a second, alright?!).
I’m thankful for their health, for the nurses and doctors who helped us bring our sweet Theo into this world safely (and without major surgery!), for the endless support of our family and friends, for all of you who keep coming back here to read my babbling and for even having something special enough to babble about. But mostly, I’m thankful for this little family of four I never knew I wanted and never want to live without.
Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving!
p.s. Here’s my first attempt at taking pictures of two kids at once. It’s harder than it looks, guys. One kid’s face is almost always blurry. I’m going to need to work on this!
We’ve made it to three weeks with our little guy! That’s right, we’ve survived three full weeks as parents of TWO kids, which feels like a pretty big win. Every day I get a shower and feed the kids feels like a win actually. Not to be dramatic because Theo has been very kind to us, but I forgot all about this newborn stage. Sleeping, eating, pooping and random crying that sounds like the world is ending. I don’t care how well your little one sleeps, there is nothing easy about waking up every few hours to nurse when all you want to do is sleep. And when you do finally fall asleep a rambunctious toddler is ready to start her day and promptly throws her bowl of breakfast across the room while the other one is attached to your bosom making clean-up virtually impossible. Fun times. Luckily, my little Cinderella has become quite handy with a paper towel as I demand she clean up her own messes. If I have to have two kids in diapers at once at least I can train one of them to clean up after herself (when she wants to listen, that is). I feel like I’m rambling. Am I rambling? Sleep deprivation will do that to you. So let’s move on.
With Black Friday coming up I’d thought I’d share a handful of our favorite things for newborns in hopes that you can snag a few at decent prices online this week. Unless you’re that crazy nut who gets up at 3 a.m. to stand in line outside your favorite store, then you certainly don’t need my help, though perhaps you should first invest in some caffeine and body armor. Some of these are new items while others are repeats from my baby registry essentials list, which means two years later and with our second babe we still love these products and recommend them.
So here you go!Wool Baby Blanket by Fine Little Day. My sister bought us this wool blanket as a gift for Theo because he pretty much has nothing new of his own and was in need of warmth. I am in love. It’s incredibly soft and I love the design. For some reason I’ve been drawn to monochrome stuff lately. That Scandinavian style that gets me every time. (seen here)
Kimono-Style Bodysuits. I just recently discovered H&M’s kids section and have since bought a ton of stuff for both kids. I’m really impressed with everything, including the price, and especially love the wrap bodysuits for Theo. When these babies are tiny and you don’t want to pull clothes over their heads the kimono styles are great. H&M has a large collection in a variety of colors for both boys and girls. I went with a bunch of them in size 2-4 months and they’re a little big on my nine-pounder, which is good because he should be able to wear them for at least a few more weeks! (He’s already starting to outgrow things!) I also bought some pants and hoodies and zip-up sweaters and I’m happy with everything.
Mary Meyer Bestever Baby Mat. We used this mat for Isla and she loved to cozy up and snuggle on it. We now use it every day for Theo, too. I put it on the couch or the floor as a way to keep him cozy and warm as he naps or hangs out with us. I even travel with it.
HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. We used a hand-me-down with Isla, as in the bassinet Chris’ dad slept in as a baby! It was beautiful and wooden and in great shape, but required a bumper, which is a huge no-no. I was a nervous wreck having Isla in there and also it was hard for me to use in the middle of the night after my C-section. It was deep and too low for our bed, so I couldn’t just reach over and grab her in the middle of night; I had to actually get out of bed. I know that sounds like such a small complaint, but when you are recovering from a C-section simple things like lifting a baby’s weight, climbing in and out of bed or even just bending over the side of the bed are painful and sometimes impossible. This swivel sleeper by Halo has been amazing so far. The height is adjustable, the sides are mesh so the baby won’t suffocate, the wall lowers when I lean on it so I can easily grab Theo from bed and, just as the name implies, it swivels 360 degrees so I can bring the baby closer to me or turn the bassinet in any direction without moving from my bed. This thing is a game-changer. It has some other features, like a nightlight, nursing timer and the ability to play sounds and vibrate, but we haven’t used any of those. At least not yet. I’m a firm believer that babies should learn to self soothe and fall asleep without that kind of assistance at bedtime. I’m a little more lenient at nap time, hence the mamaROO, though sometimes I put Theo in there and don’t turn it on! So anyway. Big thumbs up for the Halo Bassinest.
Natursutten Pacifier. I predict we’re going to have another thumb sucker on our hands, but in the meantime we needed some sort of pacifier for soothing. Theo hates the Avent Soothies we had for Isla. Come to think of it, she hated them, too. So I bought these Natursutten all natural pacifiers that are supposed to be great for nursing babies. S0 far so good. He’s still hit or miss with it, but much prefers this one over the others. If he finally finds his thumb, all the better.
Zutano Fleece Booties. Hands down the best booties out there. Socks are the worse. THE WORST. If someone tells you they found socks that stay on baby feet they are lying! Or they glued them on and I don’t really recommend that. These are so warm for winter and never ever fall off. Theo has skinny little feet with long finger-like toes (sorry, buddy, you inherited those from me) and the size 3 months fit him perfectly. I will be buying them in a variety of sizes as he grows. (seen on Theo here)
Solly Baby Wrap Carrier. If you don’t know how much I love this thing you must be new to my blog and Instagram. I LOVE my Solly Wrap. Love Love Love. I even pretty much forced my sister to buy one after I saw how uncomfortable she and her new daughter were in the Moby. I’m happy to say she’s a convert. The wrapping part is intimidating at first. I was frustrated the first few times, but the tutorial videos are great and once I got the hang of it I was addicted. I wore Isla in our Solly until I got pregnant with Theo and could no longer bear her weight on my back and belly. Get a Solly. Seriously. Just do it.
4Moms mamaROO + infant insert. The cadillac of baby swings. We love this thing. We bought it for Isla after she was born because she wasn’t a fan of the hand-me-down vibrating seat we got from a friend of a friend and because I refused to set up a stationary swing in our small townhouse. Our goal was to have the bare minimum of baby stuff so this all-in-one bouncer, swing, car, soother, whatever you want to call it fit the bill. Plus it’s not heavy so it’s easy to transport from room-to-room. Sleeping or awake, our little guy loves it. He’ll chill in there while we feed Isla breakfast or eat dinner and he naps in there sometimes, too. And while I don’t always go for the extras, the infant insert is key. My only complaint: my toddler won’t stop stealing her brother’s pacifier, turning on the mamROO and climbing in! Little bugger. (seen here)
A shower. That’s all I’m asking for. Is that too much to ask? No, no it’s not. Good thing I’m married to a man who understands my obsessive need to be clean. It’s like how most people feel without their coffee. You can’t function until you have that first, sweet cup of joe, right? Well that’s me and showers. Other than that, life with two babies is chaotic for sure, but manageable so far (as long as I’m showered).
After a trail of visitors, including my mom who came from Michigan to stay with us for just under a week, this was my first week alone with the kids while Chris went back to work. And by “back to work” I mean down to the basement of our house to his office. Having a husband who works from home during these first few weeks has been a lifesaver, for me at least. For him it’s probably a little more difficult juggling a family upstairs and a career downstairs. Gotta hand it to him.
As for Theo, I’ve been blessed for the second time with a lazy sleeper. Our little guy can sleep for hours in his mamaROO, on my chest, in the bassinet or pretty much anywhere. It’s amazing and so helpful with his sister running around needing my attention. Though I’m aware this dream may not last so I’m enjoying every moment. So far he’s been kind to us at night, too, thank goodness. I repeat: I’m enjoying this while it lasts!
Isla is handing the transition beautifully. That’s not to say she hasn’t had many tantrums and overall I’m-a-horrendous-two-year-old-and-you-can’t-stop-me moments, but she loves her brother and is so sweet with him. My little thumb sucker has taken a liking to her brother’s pacifier (or “tootsie,” as we call it) and likes to turn on the mamaROO, climb in and suck the tootsie while saying “wah-wah.” Hey, at least she hasn’t tried to nurse! Yet. And I will take all the extra cuddles she’s offering up. When Theo is nursing or sleeping on my chest, this sweet girl of mine crawls up to me, lifts my arm and tucks herself under it to snuggle with us. Sometimes she even pets his head. And that is what life is all about, you guys.
Stay tuned for posts about my favorite newborn and toddler gear, Theo’s newborn photo shoot featuring a wide awake baby and screaming toddler, Theo’s birth story and hopefully a postpartum outfit soon!
Every single time I post a picture on Instagram or elsewhere wearing these jeans someone asks me where I got them. Since they’re by far my favorite maternity jeans I decided I dedicate a post to them.
Let me start by saying they’re not cheap. I justified the expense by telling myself I needed jeans that had side panels because the ones from my last pregnancy with the elastic waistband got so stretched out I couldn’t wear them again until very late in this pregnancy (without showing some serious bum and pulling them up every second). I also promised myself they would be the only pair I’d buy the whole pregnancy, and I stuck to that. I bought them in my regular size and they fit like a glove, though they are incredibly long on my 4’11” legs, hence the rolling. I will say, this big baby of mine was riding LOW toward the end and that made ALL jeans and pants uncomfortable, but I still preferred these jeans over my others. And now, at nearly two weeks postpartum, I wear these every single day. (The picture in the bottom right corner was taken just a few days ago.) They are super comfortable and make me feel pulled together like a real person. I’m even wondering if I can just keep wearing them forever and ever!
So there you have it. These are my favorite maternity jeans from pregnancy no. 2 (shown above during all stages of pregnancy and beyond).
Theo Jon joined our family nearly one week ago and we are absolutely smitten. He was nine days late (and much bigger than we expected!) but he was worth the wait. He has his sister’s chubby cheeks, his parents’ butt chin and huge, beautiful eyes. We are in love and relishing life as a family of four.
Isla is adjusting to life as a big sister far better than we expected. She was a little confused when she first arrived at the hospital to see us and clung to me like she wasn’t sure she would ever see me again. But it didn’t take long for her to fall head over heels. She kept counting Theo’s ears and looking for (read: poking) his eyes and nose and all other body parts to make sure he was intact. When she finally held him on her lap she refused to let us take him away, and when the nurse wheeled him for a few minutes on the second day, Isla sobbed as he left the room and cried for “BABY!!” My little bee is the sweetest big sister. I am so proud of her.
As for me, I got what I wanted … a successful VBAC! I’ll probably share his birth story later (minus the gory details), but I’ll just say how relieved I am to have been able to avoid the repeat C-section. My recovery is already 100 times easier and I’m on my way to feeling like myself again. My labor was long (about 24 hours) with many hours of pushing, but I got this guy out with just five minutes to spare before they were going to have to perform an emergency C-section. Willpower and adrenaline are powerful things! I’d also like to give a shout-out to my epidural. Thank you sweet, sweet medicine. It’s not the most pleasant feeling, being semi paralyzed and itchy, but the pain from those contractions, holy mother of …
Thank you for all of your love on social media since we announced Theo’s arrival. We’re feeling incredibly loved this week! Now I’m off to stare at my little guy as he sleeps soundly next to me and prepare for the week ahead with my TWO babies. I’ll be back soon.