toddler

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

 

A Black Tie Maternity Shoot

thegreatromance-maternity-black dressthegreatromance-family portrait-maternitythegreatromance-black and white formal attire-toddlerthegreatromance-black tie-toddlerthegreatromance-father and son-photo shootthegreatromance-black and white maternity-family photo shootthegreatromance-family-maternitythegreatromance-toddler-bowt tiethegreatromance-family-formal-photothegreatromance-toddler kissing mom belly-pregnancythegreatromance-pregnant-toddler-formal-photothegreatromance-formal-family-photothegreatromance-beach-family-photothegreatromance-formal maternity photo-beachthegreatromance-formal-family-portrait-beachthegreatromance-beach-maternity-black dressthegreatromance-pregnant bellythegreatromance-black and white-toddler on the beachthegreatromance-toddler on beach-suspendersthegreatromance-formal-maternity-beachthegreatromance-family portrait-maternity sessionthegreatromance-black tie-maternity thegreatromance-maternity-photo-onesiethegreatromance-onesiethegreatromance-maternity session-kissesthegreatromance-husbandthegreatromance-gold shoesthegreatromance-family on beachIf you could see me now, I’ve smiling from ear to ear with happiness at how well my maternity photos turned out :).  Thanks to my new BFF’s over at Great Romance Photo, they captured our black tie family session picture perfectly!  I tell ya, client satisfaction at its best.  #repeatcustomersforsure.

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

2014 Year in Review

family selfiefamily of threeBefore the year ends, I’m going to take a minute or 10 (if you read slowly) to reflect at how 2014 unfolded.

(P.S. there is absolutely nothing wrong if you read slow.  It just let’s me know you are totally  letting    each.   and.  every.  single.  word.  I.  write.  sink.  in.  – so for that, thank you!)

How should I summarize 2014?  Hmm, how about I break it down in accordance to the core of my blog: “A California wife and mom inspired by fashion, family adventures, and coastal living.”

Fashion:  is still very much a part of my life and since getting pregnant in June, I’ve had to become a bit more creative in styling myself.  But hey, it’s  a challenge I welcomed :).

Although my blog has greatly evolved from its initiation in 2011, where it was heavily fashion driven, I still include stylish posts.  This year I incorporated a new series, “Where to?  Where this?” and although I haven’t written one of them lately (been too busy sharing my personal family adventures), the WTWT posts are still one of my favorites to create.

Family Adventures:  With our feet firmly planted in Santa Barbara, we enjoyed exploring our town at length.  Living within eye sight of the water, we often ventured to the beach for walks and to search for shells.  I’ve since built a pretty extensive collection of seashells totally worth a pat on the back for.  Looking back at the year, we are also fortunate to have made many friends whom we shared weekly playdates with.  Over the summer I invited our friends to celebrate our son’s 2nd birthday.   When family came into town to visit, we made sure to introduce them to some of our favorite Santa Barbara hiking spots: a Monarch Butterfly preserve and a local Harbor Seal sanctuary.

Just a short drive away, we explored the famous Bubble Gum Alley in San Luis Obispo and continued to take trips to our old stomping grounds of Orange County– one specific trip being to Disneyland; a first for Harrison.

Several trips outside of California included  Colorado for a ski trip.   I honestly find great irony in wanting to travel to see snow.  I clearly forgot that snow=cold.  Then in the summer we ventured to Moab, Utah to  celebrate my sister’s wedding and to clock in some major hiking mileage per my Strava app.  We capped off our fall with a two-week East Coast trip that left us loving the New England lifestyle.

Coastal Living:  after years of being admirers of sailing, my husband and I became certified sailors (see Instagram pics here).  About the same time we signed up for our course, we found out we were pregnant which made it all the more difficult since I suffered from horrible morning sickness.  With the help of anti-vomitting medicine, I stuck through the course and I’ve gotta say, I do love sailing.  We have even made it a family affair;  and our young Harrison has ventured the open waters with us on several occasions.

As my final post of the year, I have to say thank you to my friends, family, bloggers, and brands that have supported Sincerely Kymberly.  It absolutely brings a smile to my face having followers, receive comments, likes, shares, and emails from supportive people.  My blog will always be a fun place for me to share my life; and any recognition I get is only topping on the cake :).

Okay, okay; enough sentimental stuff.  2014- you rocked.  Over and out.

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

 

 

Cape Cod vacation {recap}

Chatham Bars Inn_cottage_ocean view Chatham Bars Inn_cottageChatham Bars Inn croquet fieldcroquet playingtoddler playing croquetcroquet playing in Cape CodChatham Bars Inn_Cape CodChatham Bars InnChatham Bars Inn_clam bakeChatham Bars Inn outdoor diningChatham Bars Inn beachChatham_Cape Cod19 weeks pregnantLighthouse Lane_Cape CodChatham Fish MarketChatham Fish Market PierfamilyHunter bootsBocce ballNauset Lighthousetoddler fall fashionNauset Light_Cape CodNauset Beach_Cape Codselfiecape cod chip factorycape cod chip factory_walk wayWhat can I say, Cape Cod- you have my heart.    I like you a lot.  Like, a lot a lot.

After visiting Washington, D.C. and Boston; relaxation was my number one priority when we reached Cape Cod.  To accomplish this, I booked us a private cottage that overlooked the Atlantic.  Our stay at Chatham Bars Inn was luxurious, relaxing, and provided the quintessential New England vibe I had wanted to experience.

My second priority while in the Cape was to enjoy fresh seafood.  I did just that.  Lobster became my go-to grub and I enjoyed ever single bite from my 2 pounders I’d order.  Here’s an insider’s tip: want to feel like a local and save $$$ like a local, order your lobster dinner at the local fish market where they will prep and cook the lobster for you.  Then take it home to enjoy in the comforts of your hotel.

Having never been to Cape Cod before, it turned out to be the exact trip I had hoped for.  We cycled through our routine of walking the beach, horsing around the croquet court (which conveniently was located in front of our cottage), window shopped Chatham’s quaint main street, snapped a few pictures in front of some iconic lighthouses, and even took a trip to the Cape Cod potato chip factory.

Granted I had hoped to test out my newly certified sailors license, but the lack of fair winds made it impossible to do.  Oh well.  Looks like I’ll just have to keep “sailing the Atlantic” on my bucket list for a little bit longer.  But I’m not complaining, all the more reason to plan a return trip to the Cape.  😉

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

Boston vacation {recap}

Old Navy_Best Son Ever_shirtStarbucks cupCambridge_fall_leavespregnant bump_fall_leaves19 weeks pregnantHead of the Charles Regatta programHead of the Charles Regatta_Cambridge_MassachusettsHead of the Charles Regatta_CrewCharles River_Boston_Massachusettscrew_Head of the Charles Regatta_HOCRElliot Bridge_Head of the Charles Regattatoddler Harvard shirtHead of the Charles Regatta teddy bearHarvard UniversityHarvard University buildingHarvard University_fall leavesmommy and son kissfuture freshmen_Harvard UniversityHarvard Square19 weeks pregnant_fall maternity fashionFenway Park_BostonBoston CommonBoston Red Sox hatAfter our week stay in Washington D.C., we hopped aboard our next flight to Boston, Massachusetts.  From the moment we touched down in Boston Harbor, I was one giddy mama.  I had mentioned in an earlier post about heading to New England for the fall, but I failed to mention we were coming in town specifically for the Head of the Charles Regatta (the largest crew competition in the world.)  Being big nautical fans, the Regatta had been on my bucket list.

Additionally, living by the California coast, I actually crave the cold.  Not the usual “cold” I experience (that being the morning fog that rolls in, but then is burnt off come 11am.)  No, I crave the “drop in weather and wearing fashionable layers of plaid, vests, and scarfs” kind of cold.  That being said, our trip to Massachusetts was the perfect East Coast state to visit this time of year.

I found our 3 day stay in the city to be perfect.  We stayed in Cambridge and visited Harvard.  I quickly gifted our son with enough toddler-sized Harvard gear to hopefully instill a love for the University.  So fingers crossed I have a future freshmen on my hands :).

Another day was spent enjoying the HOCR as we watched the rowers compete along the Charles River.  An absolutely relaxing day, we literally spent the day at the River watching the competition, eating amazing food truck grub, and indulging in some retail shopping thanks to Brook Brothers and the other preppy brands available.

On our last day in Boston, we were super touristy and checked out a “hop on and off” tour bus so that we could see all the major tourist spots.  I’d have to say it was a great way to see a town in a day.  We visited several spots, but my favorites included: Fenway Park and Boston Common.

Stay tuned for part 3 of my East Coast recap.  Our Cape Cod adventures might just be my favorite part :).

Sincerely, Kymberly