pumpin’ mama

I am a pumpin’ mama. I have to pump those first few days to relieve engorgement. I know… supply and demand…but I HAVE to, its painful and I basically drown my poor babies because I am so full. And I figure one day, I won’t be making as much milk so might as well stock up now 😉 It’s also nice to have some milk stored away for date nights.

This post is in partnership with Aeroflow Breastpumps and Medela, brands I love and trust. All opinions are my own.

Now that engorgement has subsided, I typically pump in the morning after Tristan’s first feeding in order to build up a stash before I go back to work in August. Yup, I work part-time, so I knew I was going to need a pump again. My first pump was a Medela so I knew I wanted another one. I am currently using the Sonata by Medela. It’s SUPER light weight which is awesome since I will be on-the-go once school starts in the fall. And it’s quiet…like quiet as a mouse quiet. Another HUGE plus is the parts can be washed in the dish washer. AMAZING! Alright, another cool feature… Bluetooth. Say whaaat! You can connect your pump to the MyMedela app. Fancy! The app is legit. It’s free and designed to help mamas meet their breast milk feeding goals by tracking nursing/pumping sessions, as well as baby’s growth. There are helpful videos and informative articles and even 24/7 access to a board certified lactation consultant!

I highly, HIGHLY recommend the Sonata! You can qualify for a breast pump through insurance by completing Aeroflow’s qualification form [here]. You will be contacted via phone or email by a Breastpump Specialist who handles everything from contacting your doctor to verifying benefits with your insurance provider. It’s a pretty simple process!

Post in partnership with Aeroflow Breastpumps. All opinions are my own. These products are truly things we love and would purchase.

postpartum necessities

All. On. Amazon. Praise!

Amazon: a mom’s best friend. Thank you, Mr. Amazon for being there for the mama’s (me) who don’t have time (or energy) to go to the store. Sorry, to all the husbands (Travis) who don’t like Mr. Amazon because their wife can make purchases with a thumbprint. It’s almost as bad as an unnecessary Target trip.

I truly enjoy reading blogs. My friend, Brittany, shared an amazingly detailed hospital/what to have ready at home post, where she mentioned having a caddy for all things postpartum. GENIUS!!! We live in a two story condo and carting all my stuff around was super annoying. Like two trips up and down the stairs. Nope, not happening this time. So, I got myself a caddy to stay organized and keep everything in one place. Baby in one arm, caddy crap in the other.

  • basket caddy. I just like baskets. Three, tiny compartments in the front. One big one in the back. It’s perfection.
  • belly bandit bff wrap. I had this with Dane and while it’s good for a plethora of things (e.g. expedite fluids through the body, may help muscle memory and body shaping, comfort after c-section, etc.), I noticed it most with back pain! My back was so sore… this was amazing!
  • oat mama lactation tea: I was so excited to find this on amazon! Super excited to try it out. It’s basically spring so I’m thinking iced chai lattes. Yum!
  • extra peri bottle. We have a bathroom upstairs and downstairs so I will need two.
  • colace. Do I have to go there?
  • brewers yeast. Make and treat yo’ self to some lactation cookies. My fave recipe is from Jessica at how sweet eats. They freeze well! Find it [here]. note: i used half the cinnamon.
  • always undies. Trying these out this time since I ran out of the mesh undies from the hospital.
  • always overnight pads without wings. 
  • tucks. My fave!
  • nasal aspirator. Ok, I know there’s this brand that everyone loves where you suck the snot…I can’t figure the thing out! It didn’t work for us. This is my fave and it’s super easy to use.
  • nursing tank. 
  • manual hand pump. I do like having a hand pump for night time. I don’t want to use my electric pump at 3:00 am. This one pumps directly into the bottle.
  • breast milk storage bags.
  • quick clean pump wipes.
  • perineal spray. This stuff is the bomb! I am not a fan of the dermaplast from the hospital so this my fave alternative.
  • nursing balm.
  • nursing pads: disposable and reusable.

And one last thing, not on amazon but worth mentioning… fenugreek bars from mrs.milk. I got salted caramel dark chocolate. Need I say more?! Currently salivating.

So. Much. Stuff. But it is all needed! Of course, first time around, I had other stuff that I didn’t use (nipple shield, milk catchers/saver). I have everything ready, now were just waiting on this little babe.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and, if purchased, a very small commission goes to help our family. These products are truly things we love, purchase, and fit our style. 

the minimalists hospital bag

AKA what you actually need. 😉

First time around, I way over packed. Like checked every list on Pinterest and basically moved into the hospital with our behemoth rolling suitcase for two days. Terrible idea because we had to unpack ALL that junk when we got home. But first time parent is a tad bit frightening until you figure stuff out. But like, do you ever figure it out? I don’t think we have. I 100% felt comfortable with overpacking but this time around… Basic. Necessity’s.

Baby 2, I’m going minimal. And my birdling bag exudes minimal (I actually said that in my head but then I had to look it up to make sure it meant “displays”. And then Travis told me no one actually says that word. Well, I do.)

These are the items packed away in that gorgeous bag:

  • nursing bras: these Lamaze Intimates ones are my new fave. They are super soft! And the lace trim makes them cute and not frumpy.
  • Diapers & wipes: the hospital supplies these too so I’m still debating if I want to toss in what we are comfortable using. Let’s be honest, it’s not happening but these items will be ready at home.
  • nursing pads: I like both disposible and reusable.
  • nursing balm
  • pacifier
  • new mama bottom spray
  • toiletries: legit didn’t shower the last time and I probably wont this time because I like to be dirty/think of it as camping. JK. Sort of. But I would rather shower at my house than in a gross hospital shower. I’m just planning on skin care/face stuff, toothbrush/paste, and makeup.
  • socks/slippers
  • baby blanket
  • going home outfit for mama: this dwell + slumber caftan is perfect for nursing and loose. It will cover the weird postpartum belly.
  • going home outfit for baby: pajamas. Dane went home in a super cutesy outfit but baby 2 is going home in a footie. Easy. Done. Primary has great budget friendly basics!
  • car seat cover
  • snacks: Oat Mama lactation bars!
  • phone charger: Make sure it’s extended or portable! Those dang outlets are so far away.
  • wallet with ID and insurance

 

My friend Brittany, made the best check list! I think it is succinct, perfect for first time moms. And it’s cute! Like really cute! Download [ here ]!

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and, if purchased, a very small commission goes to help our family. These products are truly things we love, would purchase/DO purchase, and fit our style. 

v happy bellies

Picky eating. Not my favorite phrase but this is normal. Yes, normal and a temporary part of childhood development. Fussing over eating broccoli? Normal. Doesn’t want carrots but happily ate them yesterday? Normal. Only drinks from that one, dang green cup? Normal. I love [this] article by pediatric feeding specialist Melanie Potock, fellow SLP. She mentions red flags that may warrant a discussion and/or referral to a specialist (speech or occupational therapist). If any of these stand out to you, definitely consult with your ped.

  1. Consistent avoidance of particular foods
  2. Extreme pickiness when deciding what to eat
  3. Gagging when presented with certain foods
  4. Anxiety around trying new foods
  5. Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
  6. Weight loss/slow growth
  7. Extremely limited range of “safe” foods

Back tracking to picky eating…I love that Melanie notes in her new book, Adventures in Veggieland, “Kids will most often live up to the labels we assign to them” (251). Like cool cat, little Einstein, picky eater, migraine-giver. Just kidding on the last one. Or am I? I get asked if Dane is a picky eater. My response: we are trying our best to become healthy, adventurous eaters with v happy bellies and the occasional side of pizza or mac ‘n’ cheese. Other advice I received from an Instagram follower…. look at what your kiddos ate for the week rather than meal by meal. Great! So snacks all day but doesn’t eat a legit meal is cool since it’s not an every day occurrence.

My personal interest in feeding peeked because I am trying to prevent “food jags”, where toddlers insist on eating the same foods, over and over (250). I also truly enjoy meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking/baking. Healthy (ish) is the goal for my tribe.

Let’s start with some stats. “According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, kids need two to three servings of veggies per day” (2). The visual Melanie gives is a large egg: toddlers get two to three eggs of vegetables per day. Note: please tell me, you’re like oh shoot, my toddler def isn’t getting that. Because Dane is not. Maybe like one egg. If I’m lucky. And it’s me. All me. I don’t cook enough veggies or incorporate veggies into what we are eating. But all that is about to change!

What I really love about Melanie’s new book are the recipes. They are super easy to modify to meet dietary needs or restrictions (DF, GF). We have some dairy sensitive tums (Travis) and our favorite recipe so far has been the kale pene pasta. One, because it’s crock pot. Hello, easy. Done. Two, because it’s suuuuper delicious. It does have some cheesy goodness (ricotta, asiago, parm, and mozzarella) so I cut the ricotta out and just did tiny handfuls of mozzarella and a parm/asiago blend I found at TJ. We wolfed it down! Other recipes, I’ve made from this book are the spinach cucumber sammie (winner), honey butter carrots (winner), beet dip (working on it), corn salsa (winner), and chocolate spinach pudding (winner). Next on my to make, taste test list: cauliflower caramel corn, chicken broccoli enchiladas, broccoli cheese squares, and corn chowder.

Ok, keeping it short. Was that short? 10/10 recommend [this] book. What’s included: the science behind expose, explore, and expand, parenting in the kitchen, the importance of family meals (we eat the early bird special at 5:30/5:45/6:00), household friendly (husbands approve) veggie recipes by season, addressing feeding and sensory challenges. Get aaaaaat. You’ll love it.

Feel free to peep some of the feeding things we use to encourage filling that scrumptious belly with all the yummies! We also love our ezpz mats. It’s a happy face! And research shows, if we present food with a smile, children are more likely to eat what they are serverd. Plus, my OCD, type-A-self loves how organized and pretty food can look.

I’m a medical affiliate with ezpz fun and like any other affiliate links, I receive a teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy commission. However, with this link: http://wwwezpzfuncom.refr.cc/prouty

interested buyers receive 10% off their purchase!

Reference

Potock, M. (2018) Adventures in Veggieland. New York, NY: The Expierment.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links to products I use and, if purchased, a very small commission goes to help our family. These products are truly things we love, would purchase/DO purchase, and fit our style. 

called to be loved

Over the weekend, I found my little binder of all my church notes. Dated back to 2011! There are so many good messages to share but this one is gooooood. Like really good. I was totally mind blown by the simple truth that my first duty is not to do anything! Let God love YOU. His love isn’t based on what you do, it’s based on who HE is.

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Eph. 1: 4-5 (NLT)

  • the first purpose of my life is to be loved by God!
    • This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James. I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ. Jude 1:1 NLT
  • my first calling is to enjoy a relationship with God.
    • I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. Romans 1:7 NLT
  • that relationship is to be his son or daughter.
    • See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! 1 John 3:1 AMP

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Eph. 3:17-19 (NLT)

God’s love for ME is:

  • wide enough to be everywhere.
  • long enough to last forever.
  • deep enough to handle anything.
  • high enough to overlook my mistakes, sins, and faults.

WHAT CHANGES HAPPEN IF I STAY AWARE OF GOD’S CONSTANT LOVE FOR ME?

  1. I feel accepted rather than ashamed which sets you free from addiction of approval.
  2. I’m bold in bringing my needs to God.
  3. I have peace in pain I don’t understand.
  4. I have the courage to take risks.
  5. I worship instead of worry.

Beloved, fill you heart and mind with the truth of his word. Watch [this] inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life.

strollin’ with my homies

Homies. Plural. TWO. I can’t.

Alright, first, the expectant mother parking is legit. Walking. is. a. choooooore. I. Am. Out. Of. Breath. Thinking. About. Walking.

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I love and trust. All opinions are my own.

Trav and I adventured down to our local buybuy BABY so we can expand our UppaBaby Vista to a double. DOUBLE. TWO. I still can’t. Mikayla and Brad, our expert store associates, were super helpful in explaining what we need to make that happen. They let us try different seating arrangements and attachments. We decided to go with the piggy back (weight limit 50 pounds), upper adapters, and the rumble seat (weight limit 35 pounds) which comes with the lower adapters. Note: original seats (on the top) go up to 50 pounds. So when the car seat or bassinet is not in use the oldest/heaviest child is recommended to sit in the top seat.

buybuy BABY is my fave baby store! Their employees suggest helpful product advice, not just for baby registry but for all product and gear. Check with your local buybuy BABY, but our buybuy BABY offers a serivce called Tot Squad on Saturdays, where they clean items (e.g. car seats, strollers, pack ‘n’ plays, high chairs, etc.) with natural products. Appointments are recommended! Since we had our uB Mesa with Dane, 100% we are taking it to be cleaned for the new babe. Baby things get nasty! Tot Squad will also demonstrate how to install your car seat ($50) and they preform car seat checks ($35). Super cool for first time parents!

We love our uB and are so grateful for buybuy BABY and their services! Dane loves the “skateboard” and I’m definitely seeing that we will need a second feeding trough AKA snack tray for the future babe. Side note: our tan leather handle bar covers are from Lux & Leather. And they’re gorgeous.

This post is in partnership with buybuy BABY, a brand I love and trust. All opinions are my own.

Falling apart

Everything’s falling apart on me, God; put me together again with your Word. Psalm 119:107

We live in a world where things fall apart. This world is not perfect. Thankfully, God is in the business of putting things together again. Not only relationships, but businesses, houses, lives.

Totally needed to hear the message from pastor Tom Holladay. How to put it together again. Once he said, “when you’re at a point where you are worn out”… I was in. Because me. Hi, that’s me. SO worn out. Beyond. Feel like my life is falling apart. It’s impossible to catch up on rest and keep going with all that’s going on for us right now. It’s a busy season and I know it’s only going to get busier. Hello, new baby.

1. HOW TO START

  • mourning- expressing your hurt to God.
    • God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt 5:4. Mourn what you’ve lost so you can move forward.
  • fasting- focusing your heart (and attention) on God.
    • Turn to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. Joel 2:12. Fasting is usually with food but most people (ME) need to fast from entertainment since that is what takes up most of our time and attention.
  • praying- asking for help from God.
    • Lord, my rock, I call out to you for help. Psalm 28:1
    • I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. Ephesians 1:19.

2. HOW TO KEEP GOING (keep up the energy)

  • Take time to say thank you.
    • First, I want to say that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because people everywhere in the word are talking about your faith. Romans 1:8
  • Choose to celebrate.
    • The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b. You want strength, you need joy.

3. HOW IT LASTS

  • For anything to last, it must be dedicated to God. Your marriage, heart, business, faith.
    • The priests and Levites first dedicated themselves, then the people, the gates, and the wall. Nehemiah 12:30.
    • Why rebuild at all? Yes, it’s easier to start over but the value of the relationship or marriage or business is priceless.
    • God has the answer, for all my fears.

As mentioned in previous posts, these are not my words. Simply my message notes that I hope someone who feels like they need to “put it together again” will hear the Lord speaking to them and listen to this weekend service.

Watch [this] inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life including your work, relationships, health, and more.

skin care

I’m a research person. Like a sleuth. I like evidence. I like science. I like actual proof that something is effective. Is it too difficult to find empirical evidence that documents the effectiveness of eye cream? Like what does current evidence say about ice rolling and the benefits of taking care of your skin. Am I a nerd? Don’t answer that. Anyway, I did some research. Thanks, American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) for being a reliable, credible source. If you don’t want to read about it, your two take-aways are sunscreen and moisturizer.  The benefits of taking care of your skin are:
  • Retain skin’s youthful firmness longer
  • Reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • Keep complexion looking brighter and younger
  • Avoid leathery skin
  • Reduce skin cancer risk

I was really seeking out product that contains no synthetics, alcohol, astringent, parabens, fragrance, retinoids…my skin is uber sensitive! When I try anything new my skin gets all hot, red, and irritated.

Welp, this is what I found works for me. My clinical expertise in the area of skin care is minimal but hopefully the research I found helps make my routine a teeny, tiny bit more valid. Plus, results! My skin is changing from peeling flakes to glowing (-ish) goddess (-ish).

Skin care routine
am
  1. Ice ice baby. Ice roll. Ice rolling helps minimize redness and the appearance of pores. Cold temperatures have a lifting effect on the skin and reduces puffiness and the look of fatigue. Aka that mama life. Side note: Ice rollers are great for people who suffer from allergies. You can calm inflammation and reduce swelling caused by allergies. (1)
  2. Lather that cleanser up and rinse with not too hot of water. Make sure you use a good cleanser. Most face wash with synthetic gunk will strip your skin if it’s natural oils. Fun fact: Your skin is the largest organ of the body! (3)
  3. Spray Rosewater Toner. Rosewater is an anti-inflammatory and it naturally brings the pH of your skin down (and since all tap/sink water is too alkaline your skin wont get dry or oily if you adjust the pH with Rosewater). (3)
  4. Apply hydrating moisturizer. Because it’s the secret ingredient to anti-aging, duh! But for real that came straight from the AAD. (4) Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance.
  5. Apply sunscreen. Broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher please! According to the AAD, sunscreen is also imperative to anti-aging as sun’s rays can accelerate signs of aging. (5)
  6. After all that, I put make up on 😉 But if were having an at home day, then I just wash my face and slather on a moisturizing sunscreen.
pm
  1. Remove make-up. I use jojoba oil…it’s safe around the eye peepers.
  2. Lather that cleanser up, rinse, and pat pat dry.
  3. Exfoliate on a schedule with a gentle mask and be cautious of scratchy exfoliants. Don’t want to irritate the epidermis just say bye, bye to dead skin cells! How often you exfoliate depends on your skin type and exfoliation method (e.g. mechanical or chemical/scrub). Generally, the more aggressive the exfoliation, the less often it needs to be done. Be careful not to over-exfoliate, as this could lead to skin that is red and irritated. (6)
  4. Spray Rosewater Toner.
  5. Apply serum. Why you ask? Serums are meant to be applied before your moisturizer because they work on the lower layers of your skin, while moisturizer keeps the upper epidermis happy. Luminance’s serum includes a small amount of peptide and these are proteins that help our skin retain elasticity as we age. (3) Read more about peptides [here].
  6. Apply hydrating moisturizer.
  7. Lips. Moisturize those puckers too! Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips. Some healing lip balms can irritate your lips. If your lips sting or tingle after you apply the lip balm, switch to one that does not cause this reaction. (7)
Leaving with some encouraging words and final tips: Give your routine some time to work and stick with it! One or two skin care product lines at a time. More expensive skin care is not necessarily more effective. Use a humidifier at night in order to add moisture to the air. Drink tons of water! Sunscreen and moisturizer.

 

PRODUCT– I did the research on EWG and ThinkDirty. And I am the guinea pig. Products are rated a 3 and below (low hazard). 
This post contains affiliate links to products I use and, if purchased, a very small commission goes to help our family. These products are truly things we love, would purchase/DO purchase, and fit our style. 
     References:

Don’t give up – LOOK UP!

I thought I would close out the year with another message from my church. Again, not my words but the words and message notes of my pastor. The Christmas message is one that always sets me toward the Lord. It’s such a great message to end the holiday season and begin a New Year.

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS DIDNT START OFF “MERRY”

The first people who celebrated the first Christmas were stressed and overwhelmed.

  • Mary was confused and worried
    • Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. Luke 1:29
  • Joseph was hurt and brokenhearted
    • Joseph, her fiance, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. Matthew 1:19
  • The shepherds were scared to death
    • That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified. Luke 2:8-9
  • The wise men were exhausted
    • Now after Jesus was born, some men traveled a long way from the east and finally arrived in Jerusalem. Matthew 2:1

In my life, I need and crave less stress and more peace. I need to replenish my exhausted soul by looking UP to God. When my focus changes, my feelings will change. 

  • Everything changes for Mary when she focused on God’s promises
    • Luke 1:37-38; 48; 58
  • Everything changed for Joseph when he focused on God’s plan
    • Matthew 1:20
  • Everything changed for the shepherds when they looked up
    • Luke 2:9-17, 20
  • Everything changed for the wise men when they met Jesus
    • Matthew 2:9-11

THE CHRISTMAS GIFT JESUS OFFERS TO YOU

Then Jesus said, Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Watch this inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life.

Christmas morning tradition

The best part of waking up on Christmas morning is for sure the cinnamon rolls. And homemade. With a side of hot cocoa. My mom uses this recipe from country home mag. 1995! She’s used this recipe for years and it’s by far my favorite! I mean, you brush them with half and half before you bake them. They’re good. And doughy. And I’m so wishing we had more.

If you’re looking for a bomb cinnamon roll recipe.. give this one a whirl.