baby

Lewis Bennett

newborn with familytoddler with newbornnewborn_calendar

3 weeks ago we welcomed Lewis Bennett into this world and within an instant of meeting our little guy, I immediately etched in my heart the greatest love I could share for another.  #Awww.  His birth story is one that went smoothly thanks to my dream team of doctors, nurses, and a Bradley Cooper look-a-like anesthesiologist to execute my c-section.

While we are still working out the kinks in our new way of life; I’m happy to report that I’ve continued my “mamarazzi” obsession with snapping away close to a thousand photos of him, my limbs have finally returned back to normal after being pumped with gallons of IV, and I’ve attempted  a handful of outings with two kids in tow (albeit with someone’s assistance…but still an accomplishment).  This new way of life is a bit chaotic and my “down time” is rare, but I LOVE it.

So as much as I miss keeping up with the daily happenings of my social media accounts, getting my morning dosage of watching the Today Show, or responding to texts messages in a timely fashion;  I’m absolutely okay that those things are taking a back seat.  Because top priority for me is relishing in spending time with my boys.  Followed by sleeping when they are sleeping…

In case you missed the video I shared on Facebook or Instagram, here’s a quick video we took to celebrate the birth of Lewis:

 

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

Nursery Design: style meets function

pottery barn nursery grey, white, woodI’ll let you in on a little secret, I am WAAAAYYYY more excited about my second baby’s nursery than I was for Harrison’s.  Much has to do with trial and error. Looking back EVERYTHING about motherhood was so new and my brain was constantly being overloaded with information, products, and advice of what to do and what to buy, that I made some mistakes in my purchases.  This time around I’ve applied what I’ve learned and will be making baby #2’s nursery functional without sacrificing style.

I’m a big fan of the Pottery Barn aesthetic of a classic and clean design, that it’s played a large factor in inspiration for our baby’s room.  I’ve mentioned before that his nursery will remain along the same color scheme as the rest of our home: grey, white, wood, and blue.  I find these colors to be calming for me.  When I know I’ll be spending hours on end in our baby’s room, I want to find some serenity when I’m in the thick of caring for a newborn.

I’ve paired all of these essentials with items from Pottery Barn to make your one-stop shopping needs easy.  But I do love me a bargain, so for a few of the items, I’m sharing alternatives that are light on your wallet.  Big YAY for savings!

Also keep in mind that this design board is of a neutral color palate, but the functionality remains the same for any color scheme you choose!  Here’s a round-up of the bare essentials you’ll need in a nursery:

Safe Crib

Dresser and Changing table combination

Rugs: one and two  (alternatively IKEA’s faux sheepskin rug is a steal at $12.99)

Design tip- by taking an oversized rug and layering it with a smaller rug on top you create dimension and warmth.  Layering rugs is especially key when you are dealing with a neutral palate in order to prevent a plain and texture-less space.  Added bonus- you’ll have plenty of cushion when doing tummy time and during those crawling months.

Nursing nook to include somewhere comfy to sit, comfy blanket for you (and a swaddle for baby), plus a side table to rest your nursing knickknacks.

Design tip- if you decide to purchase a glider or rocker, opt for a white fabric because there’s almost a guaranteed chance your little one will end up spitting up on it.  Believe it or not, cleaning up breast milk on a light-colored chair is much easier and tends to not show remaining residue.

I’m opting to keep our guest bed in the nursery as the bedding is already inline with the nursery look and I find it comfortable nursing/soothing baby while I’m sprawled out on a bed.  But if I do decide to make the last-minute decision to get a glider, I’ve eyed this affordable option as my go-to choice.

Lighting is essential because you’ll be awake and then sleeping at all hours of day.  So consider having blackout shades to counter the day and a lamp for night (I’m obsessed with this particular lamp since there’s a quick on/off switch on the bottom.  Genius.)

Storage to hide and keep clutter at bay.  Wicker baskets for the changing table are great to keep an organized changing table and woven baskets for toys and books are sturdy enough to overcome daily abuse.

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

 

A Mama’s Guide to Newborn Essentials

a mama's guide to newborn essentialsI’ve gotta admit it, I’m in nesting mode.  I’ve been re-arranging baby’s room, clearing away clutter, and gathering essentials necessary to make my first few weeks with baby a breeze.  The crazy thing is, I’m finding that I actually do need more baby stuff.  I’ve found with the second pregnancy you learn which products worked and which didn’t.

To help aide my fellow mama’s and to steer them towards some pretty ah-mazing products that are sure to simplify life,  I’ve put together a Guide to Newborn Essentials:

NURSING:

1.  Medela double pump:  The Pump In Style is great because it’s hospital recommended, fairly quite, painless, and gets the job done faster.  Good news- most (if not all) insurance companies now will pay for your breast pump.  Just contact your provider.  I already did so and the process is simple.  You pick your pump (yes, a Medela double pump is an option!) via their chosen provider and 30 days prior to your delivery, you’ll receive the brand new pump.  Now you’ve freed up $250 to spend on other baby items :).

2.  Medela Tender Care Lanolin:  just throw this ointment into your basket and trust me and a mass of many other mama’s, that this item is God sent.  Oh and your nips will thank you too ;).

3.  Hands free breastpump brabecause it’s nice to have your hands free and able to do things for the 20 minutes you are stuck pumping.  Just think, you can get in the Facebook and Instagram time you crave.  That’s what I call multi-tasking.

4.  Nursing pillow:  My only experience is with a Boppy pillow and it was a good one.  Although My Breast Friend (seriously who comes up with these names?) is a great option too.  I believe you will be fine with any type you register for.  The one helpful tip is to order an extra cover for those spit up’s and projectile vomits that will definitely occur.

Also, a favorite of mine is the Boppy travel pillow which is perfect for all Mom’s on the go (just stash in your stroller).  For a mama who had a c-section, this pillow made nursing easier when I was out on the town, as it didn’t put any pressure on my birth-battle wound.

SLEEPING:

5.  Halo Bassinest:  hands down this is my favorite item!  It’s new to the market and when it launched a few months ago I knew it was going on my registry.  Perfect for any Mom (regular birth or c-section) because it allows you to safely co-sleep with your child, the bassinet swivels which allows you to get in and out of bed easier, one of the sides lower to allow for pulling your child in and out of, etc.  Honestly, I could talk forever on this bassinet but instead, check out this video.

6.  Nuna Travel Crib:  I recently became aware of this product and have to say, where was it when I first was researching travel cribs/playpens?  I love it because it provides BOTH a baby crib and a toddler crib/playpen.  Most on the market only provide a low-to-the ground crib or are tacky to look at.

7.  Ollie Swaddle:  my relationship with this swaddle company began when they first started following me on Instagram.  I’m following them too and I’m so glad because I found out why this swaddle stands out above the rest.  Not only is there velcro to make swaddling easy, but the bottom portion opens easily to allow for you to change your babies diaper without having to unswaddle (and possibly wake up) your baby.  I picked up this swaddle because I know my future sleep deprived self will thank me.  Right now, Ollie World is hosting daily savings up till Christmas.  I’m sure your 2 am-sleep deprived self with thank you too, so treat yourself to one :).

8.  Aden + Anais:  the Holy Grail of muslins you can do no wrong with any of their products.  I personally love their crib bedding because of the soft and breathable material.

GADGETS:

9.  Fisher Price Cradle and Swing:  okay, so I’ll admit this swing isn’t one of the more modern looking and will take a decent chunk of space in your home, but it’s practicality out wins any con.  You’ll never know which swinging motion will sooth your baby to sleep and this swing provides both a side/side and front/back rocking motion.  Yay, for all-in-one features (and sadly a rare feature for swings out on the market.)

Carrier:  I can’t pick just one.  It’s like picking your favorite kid.  I just can’t go there.  Instead I’ll have to share why I’m loving these 3 carriers.

10.  Solly Baby wraps are a California-based and family ran business whose wraps are American made.  You gotta love supporting locally, right?  But besides that, their product are awesome!  The material is breathable unlike its counterpart, the Moby.  Not to mention, it comes in a rainbow of colors (I recently picked up 2 because I was that indecisive between colors), and when you’re not wearing the Solly Baby, you can store it in it’s attached pouch.

11.  Baby K’tan:  a strategically sewn “wrap” you simply throw it over your shoulders and with a quick tie with the sash, you’ve got yourself ready to carry your newborn.  Bonus points because the Baby K’tan comes in a “Breeze” and “Active” material to allow for more breathability and active lifestyle.

12.  Ergo 360:  it’s about time Ergo added the feature of forward-front-facing.  This is an overall good carrier that will be sure to last babies’ first year.

13.  Puj: the sleekest bath tub around because it can lay flat while stored.  Not to mention it’s plush foam-like material is beyond any comparison available.  If you are a frequent traveler, the Puj Flyte is even more compact but with the same amazing qualities as the original.

14.  Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy diaper bag: I wanted to desperately not love this diaper bag.  But after going through 2 other (not so bad) diaper bags, the Boxy bag fulfills all my check marks.  A combination of the carrying style (backpack/tote), wipeable material, magnetic closure, and plenty of storage space has been a lifesaver for this mama who is always out and about.  Having twins, two kiddos, or just need a bit more room?  Try the Abundance which is just a larger version of this top-quality diaper bag.

15.  Stokke Tripp Trappthis was another one of those purchases I made after my original high chair ended up not fulfilling my long-term needs.  I originally bought a Bloom high chair because of its contemporary look, but it failed to work for me past 18 months.  What makes the Tripp Trapp high chair superior is that it truly is functional for a lifetime.  It grows with your baby into an adult while still not sacrificing a modern style.  The other high chairs on the market can’t fit to slide up against the family table, leaving your child an arm’s length away.

TOYS:

16.  Wubbanub:  the simplest of inventions, this toy and soothie combination stops the soothie from falling out of your baby’s mouth.  You’ll no longer have to tediously bend over to pick up a soothie.  Trust when I say, pick up one or two of these.  Here’s a tip:  once your child has grown out of the pacifier phase, you can cut off the soothie and allow your child to continue to play with their cuddly little lamb.

17.  Sofie the giraffe teether:  another “it” item for your baby.  I don’t know of any other toy a baby loves more than this.  My son especially loved his and to this day I’ll catch him squeaking it around while he’s enjoying creative play.  It has become such a sentimental toy that I’m contemplating buying our new baby his very own Sofie to love.

STROLLERS:

Here’s another subject like the carriers (mentioned above) that I can’t just pick one.  Sadly, there isn’t a stroller that fulfills every need, but these strollers certainly are the best of the best and here’s why:

18.  BOB Revolution:  the perfect all-terrain stroller that is equally good for jogging as it is a city stroller.  I often wondered why they market themselves as a jogger when the BOB really does wonders in a city.  After all, not all streets are perfectly paved so this bad-boy of a stroller can handle cobblestone, gravel, and even my most relatable option- the beach.

19.  Uppababy G-Luxe: the best of the best when it comes to lightweight strollers, this glorified umbrella stroller shines bright (like a diamond).  One of its top-selling points is that you can start using it at 6 months rather than the usual year for umbrella strollers.  I use it traveling (see post here) and when I know I’m going to be in an area where the aisle-to-rack ratio is snug, I throw this stroller in the backseat of my car.  Good news for 2015 the Uppababy G-Luxe is releasing it also as a double stroller.  You can bet I’ll be getting my hands on one for sure.

20.  Baby Jogger City Selectif I was smart and asked myself if I was going to have more than one child fairly soon after my first, I would have bought this stroller 2 years ago.  I’m obsessed with the City Select because it’s slim (no worrying about moving through tight spaces), it can accommodate both a single and a double seat with plenty of room for both children, there is a large shopping basket underneath, and lastly the boogie board for your older child to hop on makes it my #1 stroller choice.  Oh, and if those features don’t win you- it fold down easily and is pretty lightweight.  Score!

21.  Doona:  coming to the US in 2015, this stroller is genius for combining itself as a car seat and stroller in one.  You simple pull out the car seat and with a push of a button the stroller wheels pop down!

(Want even more stroller options?  Honorable mentions go to: Uppababy Vista and the Bugaboo Donkey for their multi-use qualities.)

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

 

It’s a… {gender reveal}

gender reveal // it's a boy

So I have to confess, we unintentionally found out our baby’s gender a month ago.  A secret I have been horrible at keeping because I’ve been slipping and using the baby’s gender when addressing my child.  Although, I don’t think any of my friends had noticed my subtle use of “he.”

The surprising news came at my 22-week appointment where my baby’s bulge was on full display shortly after the ultrasound turned on.  A quick switch to 3D mode indeed proved that it’s a boy!  Our little guy seemed determined to set the record straight that he is a boy.  I’d like to believe he was fed up with constantly being called a “girl” or the fact I had already purchased several shoes and headbands in preparation for a girl to arrive.  A bit pre-mature on my part, but that my friends is how much I felt in my heart that I was carrying a girl.

Good thing I planned on an all-white nursery…

After a month of processing this news I’m now at a place where the shock of not carrying a girl has worn off and I’ve come to grips with the fact I am surrounded by boys.  I mean, even my dog is a boy.

And so, it looks like I won’t be passing along my imaginary Harry Winston jeweled crown to a future princess.  But that’s okay, I’m sort of diggin’ it a top my pageant hair.  All (in my household), hail to this Queen B ;).

Sincerely, Kymberly

Pregnancy Update: 5 months

5 months pregnant

1.  How has this month been treating you?

Very well!  I’ve got that pregnancy glow…finally :).  

2.  Do I see a baby bump?

That is correct!  Baby bump has made its appearance as of week 18.  I went from having a frumpy front; to a hard and round belly overnight.  

3.  How’s baby doing?

Baby is a movin’ and a shakin’!  I feel consistent kicks come 9pm when I finally get to kick up my feet and have some “me” time.  (Go figures… if it’s not HB or my husband; now it’s my other baby wanting my attention 😉 ).  

4.  What are you wearing as of lately?

Thanks to our east coast vacation, I finally got to break out my maternity pants which I coupled with my regular tops.  Being back in California, I’m still wearing my regular shift dresses.  Although (and this is a good although) I’m feeling a chill in the air, so I’ll be wearing my pants soon enough.

5.  What’s the highlight from this 5th month?

Hubby feeling the kicks for himself :).  We say, that the little one is a ninja ;).  

6.  Give up the details on weight gain, will ya?

I’m now midway thru my 22nd week and I’ve gain an additional 5 lbs since my last update.  For a total of 12lbs.  Its looking like a consistent one-pound gain per week (I hope!)

Sincerely, Kymberly

Dear J.Crew

thanksDear J.Crew,

The other day I determined I have been a faithful shopper at J.Crew for almost 10 years now.  Ordering from your catalogs and shopping in your retail stores have become second nature to me and as each year passes, I’m finding myself even more devoted to the brand.

That devotion looks like it isn’t wavering any time soon.  You’ve hooked-line-and-sinked my entire family too.

For myself, each season I’m thoroughly impressed with the new styles available.  Especially as my wardrobe has continued to remain preppy, but with more of a sporty-chic tone; you have me covered.

With my belly growing from the length of a banana to eventually a watermelon; you’ve incorporate maternity bottoms to suit my on-the-go lifestyle.  Psst, I’m currently living in these denim shorts.

Not to mention, it helps that as a card member and email subscriber, I’m getting the extra hook-ups on discount codes.  Take that, savvy shopping.

Then there is my husband, he turns to your catalogs as his copy-cat stylist.  He finds what looks he likes and orders.  He’s easy like that.  Promise me you won’t change a thing about your catalogs?

As for my son,  he’s rocking your boy clothes on the daily now.  Daddy’s mini-me has me chasing him around with my camera ready to capture all the cuteness he’s exuding in his tiny tot clothes.  (P.S. your toddler sneakers might just be my favorite things to purchase for him.)

Finally, the reason for this open letter- my little bun in the oven has quickly gained an impeccable gender-neutral wardrobe with a huge help from your baby collection.  The neutral onesies and knotted beanies are exactly what I had been looking for.  The super modern color-tones has made the “not finding out” gender game easy.  

Oh, and your cashmere baby blankets  are swoon worthy and I can already envision early morning feedings with baby wrapped around one.

If I do end up having a girl (which I sort of think it is), I’ll be sure to add to my shopping cart a handful of those adorable bloomers.

There you have it, a pat on your back for the job well done.  You continue to make this savvy shopper look stylish, kuddos for keeping my husband’s wardrobe totally on point, for my son’s hip toddler gear, and for starting my future little’s wardrobe right :).

Thank you, J.Crew.

Sincerely, Kymberly