Thursday, May 25, 2017

My Hospital Bag // Packing for Baby + The Extras

We are officially in the homestretch over here and are eagerly awaiting Baby Willow's arrival!!  My bags are packed + ready to go (for the most part), and I swear I add something new into my "baby bag" every time I go into Willow's nursery, so she better come out soon before her whole closet ends up packed up.  In all seriousness, I am trying to keep it simple, so here's what we've got...

For baby //
Swaddles - I've packed a few, which is definitely overkill, but can't narrow it down to just one.  Most are hand me downs from big sis, and I can't wait to wrap another baby girl up in them! :)  I also really love the classic look of the hospital blankets and am definitely hoping to snag one to have as a keepsake like I did for Ells.

Pacifiers - We waited a week or so to give Ellie a paci at first, but I'm packing a couple in hopes I can catch some extra Zz's in the hospital.  I'm also kind of wondering if giving Willow the kind I'm hoping she ends up liking so early in the game will convince her she likes it?  Really, I'm trying to avoid MAM pacis since those were Ellie's must-have item up until just a few short months ago and I'd rather not deal with her trying to steal them (although I don't even know if she would at this point).

Outfits - I've packed one "outfit" plus two pairs of pajamas, one newborn size + one 3 month, because I obviously have no idea how big baby girl will turn out to be.

Hat, mittens + hair accessories - I am SO excited to have another little girl to accessorize, so of course a few (or eight), of my favorite bows are packed too!

Extras //
Boppy pillow - The nurses were so good at setting me up with pillows to nurse Ellie in the hospital, but I could never get it quite right on my own at home afterwards without my boppy, so it's a definite must for me this time!

Of course I'll pack things like my phone charger, purse/wallet/insurance card etc. at the last minute.  Maybe it was the belly talking, but I couldn't resist grabbing one of my favorite candies to stash away in my bag and plan to have some more of my own snacks while at the hospital.  Also, bottled water!  I loved having a couple extra bottles of my own to refill my ice cup whenever I wanted and not having to wait around for a nurse to get me more water.

Tyler won't be staying at the hospital overnight this time around so he can be home with Ellie at night (and sleep in the comfort of an actual bed), unless of course Willow decides to come in the middle of the night.  Even when he did stay last time, he really didn't need much since he was going back and forth to feed our cats and could shower and everything while he was home.  He will of course be bringing the infant car seat with him when he comes to pick us up since we know we aren't allowed to leave the hospital without one. :)

Lastly, do you think I could fit my two year old in one of my bags??  I know I'll probably be enjoying my "quiet time" at the hospital with a sweet newborn baby girl (aka nursing + baby boot camp), but I'm missing my big girl already.  Have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to the moment I get to hold my two girls at once?!  Eeek. :)

Hey, baby girl. We're ready for you!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks 5 days today.  Yep, still alive (and pregnant) over here!
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: I still haven't unpacked much of my clothes since we moved because I figured most of them wouldn't fit for awhile anyway, but finally found my shorts so I don't have to hang around the house wearing Tyler's gym shorts on hot days anymore - thankfully, as stylish as that was. ;)
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Aside from a couple really hot nights, I've slept pretty good.  I don't really have any trouble getting comfortable, just the frequent trips to the bathroom are getting a little annoying.
Best moment of the week: While the excitement of knowing we'll soon be getting to meet our newest baby girl is a bit overwhelming, we're also trying to enjoy the last bit of time we have just the three of us.  We were able to take Ellie to Davis Farmland over the weekend, which is what we had planned to do on her birthday but ended up getting rained out.  She had the best time and we can't wait to bring her back sometime!  I highly recommend it if you're local and haven't taken your kids there yet. :)
Miss anything: Already excited about my post-baby delivery grinder.
Movement:  Her little foot is always kicking right under my right rib cage!
Cravings: Fruit with every meal for the most part.  Also, I think I ate my weight in chips + guac this week.
Queasy or sick: Nausea is still coming and going a tiny bit.  Lots of Braxton Hicks that make it feel like I have a belly full of bricks approximately half the day.
Looking forward to:  So many people have asked me lately if I'm getting nervous, and while I wouldn't say I'm exactly looking forward to going through the pain of birthing a child again, I also wouldn't say I'm really nervous about it.  It does, however, go against every planning bone in my body not knowing when it's going to happen.  So, obviously looking forward to seeing if this week is going to be THE week! :)

Monday, May 15, 2017

36 Weeks

How far along: 36 weeks 5 days!
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: Of course.
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Not too bad, but never enough at this point.  Obviously there is no such thing as "banking" sleep, but I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can while I still can. :)
Best moment of the week: A good doctor's appointment!  I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with these weekly pelvic exams - it's exciting to hear something is happening but knowing it kind of makes me feel like a ticking time bomb. ;)  I was at this point for just over a week when I was pregnant with Ellie, so we are hoping that this week's appointment might be my last.  So crazy!  Also, my belly is measuring about a week behind so I'm curious to see how big she will be whenever she does decide to come out.
Miss anything: Patience with my little toddler tornado. Have I mentioned she has been a little bit of a handful lately? :)  She may or may not have been melting down in the background as we took this week's picture...
Movement:  She's still moving around like crazy.  I'm trying to enjoy seeing my belly move around while I can!
Cravings: Lots of fruit still. Cereal (with bananas) too!
Queasy or sick:  Nausea has come and gone a little bit lately, usually if I don't eat or eat too much.
Looking forward to:  At this point, still dying to see when her birthday will be!!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

All About Ellie

It's been awhile since I've done a little Ellie update, and with her second birthday just having gone by, I thought I'd do another. :) I love having posts like these to look back on since I completely failed at updating her baby book and honestly wouldn't remember lots of these little details if I didn't have them written down here!

 Age: Two years old!  With the attitude to prove it lately. ;)

Nicknames: While I always type "Ellie", I do actually call her "Ellia" when I'm talking to her quite a bit - usually when she's not doing something she should be or not listening, which is more than I care to admit. :)  I totally think it's weird to hear someone else other than Tyler call her by her real name, everyone calls her Ellie for the most part!  Other frequently used nicknames are Ells, Ellsie, E. Summer and Monkey.

Stats: 29.2 lbs, 35 1/4 inches - just shy from the height of an average three year old!  Whenever we are out and someone asks how old Ells is, they never believe me that she just turned two.  I definitely blame it on her height, and have no idea where she got that from?!

Clothing: Currently mostly wearing 2T, but her pants are all way too short.  Anything I've bought for her this year has been 3T.  Shoes are size 7.  She either loves to help pick out her own clothes or would prefer to wear nothing at all these days!  Hats are usually a win, and she loves picking out which shoes she's going to wear each day.

Eating:  Girl loves food!  She loves snacks and will graze all day long if we let her.  The key to getting her to eat a full meal is definitely patience.  It is no exaggeration when I say I sometimes spend a full hour feeding her lunch - she will finish her whole plate if she gets to do it on her own time.  Ellie really isn't too picky about the foods she likes, but is sometimes picky about when she wants or doesn't want them.  Some of her most favorites are fruit (watermelon, strawberries + apples), mac + cheese, scrambled eggs (I easily make them 5/7 days of the week), chocolate, ice cream, goldfish, chips + salsa and hotdogs.  She also loves starting her day off with a cup of milk and is obsessed with sparkling water if served in a "big girl" cup and with a straw. ;)  She's a little picky about meat, but I'd say getting her to eat veggies is probably the hardest right now.

Sleeping:  Sleep has definitely improved since we moved her into her big girl bed a few months ago.  For whatever reason, she just seems to sleep more soundly in it than she ever did in her crib.  We still have our share of long nights and she does still wake up a decent amount, but I can usually just tuck her right back in and lay down next to her for a few minutes and she's back asleep pretty quickly.  The best part of it all is that I can count on one hand the number of nights she's wound up in our bed since we made the switch, almost all of which were when she wasn't feeling well.  I miss her snuggles but she was quite the bed hog, so I definitely sleep more soundly without her there.  If she's not already asleep, bedtime is 8 p.m. and she's usually up by 6 a.m.  No naps, unless they're in the car or sometimes if I take her for a walk in the stroller.  Any nap that lasts more than a half hour totally makes me cringe because I know it means we're in for a long night.

Vocabulary:  Speech is not something that has come quickly to Ellie.  While her pediatrician wasn't overly concerned at this point, she did give us the option to have her speech evaluated and I am pretty sure we will do that in the near future.  She is stubborn about speaking, even with words we know she knows, and seems to have developed her own way of communicating (most) of her needs without saying a whole lot at all.  Luckily for us, she has mastered telling us "no".  Other frequent words/sayings are "oh no" (very dramatically), "one more", "buh bye", "go" (as in let's go), "that's mine" (which sounds more like ma miiiiiiie) and "come here" (which sounds more like ma meee or mee mee).  She's a professional babbler and animal noise maker.  We've also been working on colors lately (picking them out + saying what they are) and seem to be getting purple, blue, green, red + yellow down pretty well!  Patience is definitely key, but it always feels good when she learns to say something new. :)

Loves: Animals of all kinds, her dolls + stuffed animals - we fly through changing all of their diapers these days!, watching TV, playing outside, going to the playground, cooking/baking (she loves her step stool so much so she can help me with everything), helping clean + doing laundry, doing her makeup, brushing her teeth, playing with water, coloring, dancing, jumping on the bed, playing with anything that has a buckle (car seat, stroller, any baby contraptions we've pulled out from storage).

Least favorite things:  Naps/going to sleep, getting into the tub (although she loves them once she's in), diaper changes, being told no, getting her hair brushed or done, going to the doctor, playing by herself (most of the time).

We can't believe our sweet girl is already two whole years old!  She is very strong-willed + challenges us on a daily basis, but is also the sweetest + most affectionate little girl in the world.  She has a big heart and seems extra aware of people's emotions for someone so small. We know she's going to make an awesome big sister and cannot wait to see her in that role!

  We love you so much Ellia Summer! XO

Monday, May 8, 2017

35 Weeks

How far along: Picture taken today at 35 weeks 5 days.
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: Yes, but clearly trying to make the most out of my non-maternity clothes and thinking that the horizontal stripes aren't so cute on a 35 week baby belly.
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Aside from frequent bathroom breaks, sleep has been pretty good lately!  Regardless, I'm always wishing I could have just one more cup of caffeine a day, especially come early afternoon.
Best moment of the week: Some surprise sunshine this weekend, pulling out more baby stuff from our storage bins, having a freshly vacuumed car + baby car seat installed!  This means I officially have no backseat, but Ellie has been busy bringing her baby dolls outside to test out baby sister's seat which is pretty darn cute. :)
Miss anything: Seeing my pre-pregnancy weight on the scale...
Movement:  She seems to be getting huge! Also, lots of hiccups lately which I hadn't really noticed until the past couple weeks.
Cravings: Anything sweet, but so much fruit salad!  Ellie and I have both been eating it like crazy lately, it's so nice to have some good fruit coming back in season.
Queasy or sick:  Still feeling good for the most part.  Braxton Hicks have been getting noticeably stronger over the past few days, but I am overall still feeling surprisingly comfortable (for being at this stage in the game) so I really can't complain.
Looking forward to: I can't believe we are less than a month away from baby girl's due date now!!  I am so eager to see when she will decide to make her debut.  Part of me thinks she will come a little early, the other part can totally picture her being stubborn and making us wait.  Surprises are so not my thing, so not knowing when the big day will be is possibly one of the most annoying parts of pregnancy for me!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mini Swim + Summer Styles

The entire ten day forecast looks less than appealing here, but we are feeling so ready for summer already!  For as long as I can remember, summer has always been my favorite season and is always way too short up here in Massachusetts if you ask me.  While swimsuit season is the last thing I want to think about for myself right now, I'm so looking forward to dressing up the girls in some cute suits and can't wait to see Ellie in action in the pool + our local pond!  I have a feeling she will be quite the little fishy and am so excited to see what she thinks of our giant flamingo pool float this year.  :)  Today I'm sharing some of my most favorite summery styles for little ladies that will definitely help you feel those summer vibes, regardless of the weather outside!

We have been obsessing over (eating) watermelon lately, so I couldn't help but include some of the cutest watermelon styles I could find! :)  I love all the fun colors out for summer, especially anything with pink of course.  Also, I have been looking for a good beach and/or picnic blanket, something that's meant for outdoors and that I can just keep in my car for whatever adventures we might find ourselves up to.  I came across this one that even folds back up into itself so it's easy to carry - seriously, how stinking cute?!

Sending lots of summery vibes your way, and hoping you do the same for us too!  If anyone has some suggestions on what I could do with a stir crazy toddler inside for the next week or so, that would be appreciated too. ;)  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My Hospital Bag: Packing For Mama

I'm officially in the weekly doctor's appointment zone and I've already been given the "make sure you get in the car and to the hospital as fast as you can if you think you're in labor" speech from my doctor.  Twice, in one 10 minute long appointment.  I don't do a "birth plan", but needless to say it really just involves not having a baby on the side of the road.  Also, if Willow were to be born on the same day in my pregnancy as Ellie was, her birthday would be May 19th - what?!  I'm sure I'm all kinds of jinxing it and we'll be looking at a 42 week pregnancy + 3 days of labor or something like that; regardless, she'll be here soon and I've been busy putting a few things aside for my hospital bag that I thought I'd share today!

I try to operate under the thought process of really only needing myself (and Tyler, obviously) to have a baby.  Meaning, if I forget to pack something in my hospital bag or accidentally leave the house in a rush without it completely, I'm not going to cry about it... hopefully not anyway, those postpartum hormones are pretty crazy. ;)  We don't live much more than a half hour away from hospital, so between Tyler going back + forth and plenty of visitors who live close by, I know there really isn't anything I could want or need that someone wouldn't bring me. :)  That being said, I'm trying to keep my hospital bag pretty simple but have a few things I'd love to have for myself on delivery day + for my hospital stay:

Robe // Hands down one of the things I was happiest to have with me the first time around was my own robe.  As soon as I was given the "okay" to shower after Ellie was born (about 24 hours later), I changed out of the hospital gown and into my own robe and felt ten million times better - I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little bit like I had just got hit by a bus as our hospital room had visitors coming in and out all day long on that first day, and the gown wasn't helping any.  I knew for sure that a robe was a must-have again and found the perfect one at PinkBlush.  Between the soft, light-weight fabric and pretty floral pattern, it has quickly become one of my new favorite items in my closet!  I also love that it's something that I can wear now, as well as after Willow is born - both in the hospital and at home afterwards.  I never changed into actual clothes until we were about to leave the hospital after I had Ellie, and really don't plan to this time around either.  It felt like I was either constantly nursing or having nurses checking out all my business, so wearing a robe was just easy and functional.  PinkBlush has a ton of gorgeous delivery/nursing robes, as well as tons of other cute maternity clothes, so be sure to check out all of the great options! :)

robe c/o PinkBlush

Nonslip socks //  The socks I wore during delivery with Ellie weren't quite worth even trying to wash afterwards, so socks are also high on my packing list!  The hospital provided socks as well, but I loved having my own cozy pair to put on.

Nursing bras // A comfy nursing bra makes all the difference!  I love wireless ones and found that even sleeping in them was more comfortable than not. I don't plan on bringing any lanolin with me (although I'm sure I will need it), as the hospital was very accommodating at providing it last time around.

Toiletries // I am definitely not planning to look like I'm ready to walk the runway during my hospital stay (or ever), but do plan on bringing a few things to help make me feel a little more human after giving birth!  As I was trying to put some of this stuff aside, I quickly realized just how many different things I use on a daily basis to get ready.  Trying to keep it simple is easier said than done, but in addition to all of the "basic toiletries", I'll be bringing a small makeup bag with the things I tend to use every day - chapstick definitely included!

Going home outfit // I'm hoping we get to bring Willow home on a gorgeous, warm spring day; but, reality is that New England weather is so unpredictable and could vary greatly from one day to the next.  I plan to pack a pair of comfy sweats, a tee shirt and a zip-up hoodie or open cardigan to wear home from the hospital.  Anything that provides a little wiggle room is great, which includes a pair of underwear that are an extra size bigger than normal to put on for the trip home (I plan to use the ones the hospital provides during my stay as well as all of their feminine products).

That's really all I plan to pack specifically for taking care of myself, and will be sharing what I'll be bringing for baby as well as some "extras" soon!  Baby Lo, we are counting down the days until your due date + can't believe it's almost here!!! :)

Thank you to PinkBlush Maternity for sponsoring this post!  As always, all thoughts, opinions + love for the products are entirely my own.
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