pregnancy

5 Ways to Battle the Baby Blues

weight-someecardsI couldn’t help but laugh when I came across this image on Pinterest.  Because let’s be real…we care about our weight with or without a baby.  Weight (amongst other things) is what led me to this weeks post.  With the arrival of baby comes a whole new world that often times Mom’s don’t prep themselves for.  The Baby Blues affect almost every mom to a certain degree.  The perk of having gone thru pregnancy already;  I was familiar with the low’s I faced last time around, and I’ve made it a point to karate-chop the Baby Blues away from me using these tips.  With that said, I’m sharing 5 ways to battle the Baby Blues.

5.  Talk it out.  Seems simple enough, but any and all emotions you are feeling post birth should be addressed.  Talk to your partner, friends, mother’s group; shoot– anyone whose willing to let you vent.  Chances are they will be able to resolve issues, give advice, or just say something to make you smile.  If you are on Facebook, message your mama friend’s who are going thru birth and babies with you.  I’m sure they’d love to have someone to talk to during those early morning nursing sessions ;).

4.  Get help.  As much as you totally believe you are superwoman (red cape and all) it’s important to trust that delegating help is more effective than doing it all by yourself.  In the early weeks of getting used to life with a newborn, consider hiring a housekeeper, have a meal service delivered, and have visiting guests lend a helpful hand around the house; all in the hopes you’ll focus on baby and shut-eye.

3.  Waist train.  That belly doesn’t go back automatically and to help get your stomach back to normal, throw on a corset and wear it day and night.  It’s almost impossible to find time to workout with a newborn and if you have a c-section (like myself) you are restricted to working out after 6 weeks.  So turning to a compression band allows for your abs and your internal organs to return back to normal.  After all, if Jessica Alba can wear two at a time (yes, two corsets) post partum;  you and I can at least stomach wearing a waist-sincher around the clock.  I’ve been rotating between Maidenform and Bellefit.  Currently at 5 weeks post partum, I’m  very happy with my results.

2.  Eat your placenta.  Crazy sounding I know.  I was on the fence with it the first time around.  This time, I jumped in feet first and hired a Doula to make my magic placenta pills happen.  New to the placenta eating game, read this to get a run down.

1.  Perfection is unattainable…for now.  Used to your routine?  We all are and trust that you’ll get all your ducks sorted out…eventually.  For now, be cool with the fact that you’re taking a few weeks to bond with baby and wear yoga pants 24/7 ;).

Oh, and enjoy being part of the mama club :).

Sincerely, Kymberly

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

 

Pregnancy Update: 8 months

thegreatromance-8 months pregnant1.  What were the highlights from your 8th month?

Originally I didn’t plan to take maternity pictures at the tail end of my 8th month of being pregnant because I knew I was going to be at my largest; but looking back at the finish product, I’m so glad I waited.  Not only did the shoot go as planned, but the pictures turned out top notch.  Plus, rockin’ a fuller belly is sexy on a whole new level ;).  

Secondly, scheduling my delivery :).  

2.  Any “ugh” moments?

I’m notorious for being a mamarazzi- always filling up my phone of pictures of Harrison and our daily excursions, but sadly I only took a handful this past month because my household spent 3/4th of the month sick :(.  Being sequestered at home didn’t call for many good photo ops.  The flu rotated amongst us all and I still have a lingering sinus infection that just won’t let up.  I kid you not, we went thru a Costco pack of Kleenex this month.  

3.  What’s on rotation in your wardobe?

Our coastal town is now feeling the warm spring-like weather,  so I’ve taken the liberty of cutting a couple of my maternity jeans and created cut-offs.  How’s that for saving on maternity shorts? 🙂

4.  How has your body changed?

I can absolutely tell my belly is fuller and that baby is without a doubt larger even if my weight only went up 2 pounds.  Despite the low weight gain this month, I’m in line with what my weight gain should be which is a total of 32 pounds.  

5.  With less than a month left, how are you feeling?

Two words: excited and curious.  Excited knowing a new member of our family will be here soon.  I’ve gone from saying I’m “x amount of ” weeks to now saying “x amount of”  days.  FYI: I’m at 20 something days….aghhhhhh!!!!!

I’m equally curious in regards to how it will change our family dynamic.  I’ve spent the last 2.6 years with it being just the 3 of us that it’s only natural things will change.  All for the good I’m sure, but it doesn’t make me less curious to see the change unfold.

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

Pregnancy Update: 6 months

28 weeks pregnant

1.  Let’s recap how your 6 month of pregnancy went, shall we?

This month has been a whirlwind.  With the focus of getting ready to host Christmas and all the holiday festivities I’ve been attending;  I’ve kind of, sort of,  haven’t had a minute to remind myself that I’m…well, pregnant.  

…and now, with a blink of an eye, I’m starting my 28th week.  A.K.A.: I’m in my last trimester.  Did you hear that, MY LAST TRIMESTER!  Let’s just take a moment to let that one sink in…

2.  Your thoughts now that you know it’s a boy?

I wasn’t kidding when I mentioned in my gender reveal  that it took me a month to come to grips that I was having a boy.  With a pregnancy that is completely opposite than my first, coupled with testing out every old wives tale;  it seemed clear as day that I was having a girl.  I mean, who goes out and starts buying girl clothes, shoes, and accessories?  Oh wait, me…  

Good thing I’ve got friends with baby girls that I’ve been gifting my adorable girl collection to.  

3.  What’s on your baby to-do list?

I’m feeling the pressure…(and I’m not talking the baby lying low on the belly)…I’m talking about the pressure to do two things: 

(1) I’ve got to get the nursery down, stat.  A white nursery is what I’ve coordinated thus far, but that’s about it.  I’m working on finding unique art to hang on the wall.  Got any leads, friends?

(2)  To sort through Harrison’s baby boxes to pull out all of our “first year” necessities.  Plus, the task of re-washing all of his newborn and 0-3 month clothes.  I took a sneak peek at my son’s old clothes and I’m giddy with excitement of how cute I once dressed my little man :).

4.  What are you wearing as of lately?

The chill in the air finally arrived in our coastal town, so I’ve been rocking my maternity jeans paired with my regular tops.  On foggy mornings I’ve also been throwing over a vest to complete my look;  just like I’d say I would in my Maternity Style Hacks post.  In fact, I’ve been incorporating all those looks into my wardrobe.  It has saved me some precious money on maternity clothes and my wallet likes that ;).

I’m pretty happy to report my foot has remained the same size (unlike my last pregnancy).  Good thing because I’ve been living in these new kicks…they are what I call “Holiday-preppy meets California-street.”  (P.S. they are on sale now at Madewell…if you fancy them too!)

I’ve also been accessorizing my look with this engravable necklace from Stella & Dot.  I’ve basically become obsessed with their gold-plated jewelry line.  So much so, I’m currently hosting an online trunk show you can visit here.  

5.  What was your 6th month highlight?

Getting this baby bump into a fitted black dress for my hubby’s work party.  It was a proud moment and HAD to be shared on Instagram.

6.  Lastly, the dreaded weight gain question?  Spill the beans…

I’m up 20 pounds now, but catch me on a scale after a meal and let’s call it 22 lbs.  

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