Slow Like Sunday Mornings

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When Holden was a baby, we exclusively cloth diapered him and loved it! It worked for him, it worked for us, and he potty-trained super early because of it. We saved all of Holden’s old cloth diapers and planned to cloth diaper Gray as well. However, when he was born, we discovered that Gray and cloth diapers just didn’t mix.

Regardless of how many times I changed him during the day and night, the cloth diapers caused him to get severe diaper rashes (something we never experienced with Holden) and after a month or two of diaper rashes continuously coming and going, our pediatrician recommended that we try something different. So we packed up all of our cloth diapers and began our search for the perfect disposable diaper, hoping that would result in a healthier and happier baby. We tried a number of natural diaper brands and yet, Gray still got horrible rashes. One was so bad, that he spent an entire day completely miserable unless he was in my arms, his bum off the ground and my arms no where near his bottom.

After we thought we had exhausted all natural diaper brands, we decided to try a conventional diaper brand and guess what…he stopped getting rashes! HURRAY!

But, there was still one problem.

Our babies’ delicate and sensitive skin touches diapers every second of every day, so the diaper that you choose matters a lot! And I couldn’t get this thought out of my head. When we decided to cloth diaper Holden, we did a ton of research on diapers, so I knew that the chemicals in conventional diapers are harmful to both my baby and to the environment. As happy as I was to see his rashes disappear, I couldn’t shake the notion that the diapers that had solved the whole rash problem were potentially harming my child in a completely different way. All I wanted was a safe diaper for this little baby of mine.

Well I am happy to say that a year later after testing what seems like a bazillion different types of diapers, I have FINALLY found a natural diaper company that I am head over heels in love with, Bambo Nature. They are allergen-free, super-soft, incredibly flexible, and ultra-absorbent. And the best news of all, these natural diapers DO NOT give Gray a rash!Bambo Nature has earned more credentials, awards, and eco-labels than any other diaper on the market and I am seriously elated to have discovered them! (Should I be embarrassed that diapers get me this excited?) If you are on the hunt for an all-natural diaper for your sweet babe, look into Bambo Nature. I highly, highly recommend them. We are big fans over here.

*Huge thanks to Bambo Nature for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.


Gray’s First Birthday

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Last week we celebrated my favorite one year old’s birthday. We didn’t have any elaborate party planned, but we wanted to make it a special day. He woke up to balloons in his crib and an intimate brunch at our home with close family. We sang “Happy Birthday” about 100 times that morning, opened a dozen presents, played with all of his new toys, and then ended up at the Doctor’s office in the afternoon because I had a sneaking suspicion that the little man had a bad ear infection and I didn’t want to put off getting it checked out. I didn’t pull out the real camera for some reason, but here are some of my favorite iphone shots from the day.

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Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset^^^A birthday pancake stack for a special one year old boy

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^^^My Mother-In-Law has made every single one of Holden’s birthday cakes and we are lucky enough to continue the tradition with Gray. We try not to let our children eat sugar (or at least not very much of it). It’s on a rare occasion that they get sweets and we weren’t so sure that we wanted to introduce Gray to sugar yet or at least not an entire cake load of it. So just as she did for Holden’s first birthday, my MIL made a sugar-free cake (banana and applesauce) covered with an apple juice and cream cheese icing. 

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^^^As you can see, Gray loved it!

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^^^And so did his big brother 😉

Birthday banner & crown DIY // Hanging Lantern // Indigo Table Cover // Tree Stump Cake Stand // Succulents // Felt Bunting on Table // High Chair 


Having a VBAC

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When I was pregnant with Holden, Mr.B and I took a twelve week class (The Bradley Method) that taught you how to have a natural birth. I found a Doctor that promoted natural birthing and was even planning to deliver at a hospital a half hour away because it had a lower rate of c-sections than the one closer to us. I wrote an intricate, multiple paged birth plan that was basically just a long laundry list of everything that I didn’t want the nurses to do and I spent the weeks leading up to my due date visualizing the birth I wanted. I read every birthing book I could find and watched numerous natural birthing videos on youtube. At 37 weeks, my Doctor confirmed, that despite all of the above, Holden was in fact breech (something I had a suspicion about the entire pregnancy) and there would be no natural birth or even vaginal birth with an epidural…I would be having a planned c-section. I was completely devastated.

Still, I did not give in to the idea of c-section. I googled how to turn a breech baby naturally and did every single one: I tried acupuncture, I did specific exercises where I hung off the side of the couch, I spent every day doing somersaults in the pool, I recorded and then played my voice near the bottom of my tummy to entice Holden to move his head down there; and still he remained hiccuping in my ribs. When that didn’t work, I went and had my doctor try to turn him manually. I used the methods the Bradley Method taught me to relax and when my Doctor told me that Holden wasn’t flipping, I told him to keep going, something he said he had never heard anyone say in his entire career.

In the end, I resigned myself to the idea that I was having a c-section. We scheduled Holden’s birthday and in the days leading up to the birth, I tried to tell myself (and anyone else that asked) that it didn’t how my baby boy arrived in this world as long as he was healthy.

But Holden’s birth was the exact opposite of what I had envisioned for over 9 months and it was hard for me to be happy about it. As thrilled as I was for my sweet baby boy to enter into this world, I didn’t really enjoy the birthing experience.

When I became pregnant with Gray, I knew that I wanted to try for a vbac (vaginal birth after cesarian). My friend, pregnant at the same time and also trying for a vbac, recommended a Doctor in Encinitas that was supposed to be one of the only (and the best) Doctors in San Diego that supported vbacs.

This time, I didn’t have any preconceived ideas on how the birth would go. I didn’t take any birthing classes or read any birthing methods. I didn’t write a birth plan, I didn’t decide that I was going to have a vaginal birth or a c-section. I didn’t vow to have a natural birth or get an epidural. I said that what happened would happen and I believed it. I was going to try for a vaginal birth, but if it didn’t happen, I was ok with that too…all I wanted was a healthy baby arriving in this world. And this time, I truly meant those words.

Going into the hospital, the only thing I was adamant about was that I had a wireless monitor. For vbacs, they require continuous monitoring and I didn’t want to be tied down to the bed (which I believe could very possibly result in my having another c-section).

I stayed at home as long as possible, per recommendation of my Doctor and when I went in, they checked me and I still wasn’t very far along. We got a wireless monitor and we walked up and down the halls, I rolled on the exercise ball, we watched a television show on the iphone (although I remember absolutely none of it).

My doctor let me do my thing. He didn’t have time limits, he didn’t have expectations, he didn’t check my progress (something I felt would affect me mentally).

My Bradley method classes helped me more than anything….I stayed completely limp and relaxed in every muscle of my body as contractions took over it. I remember thinking before hand that I would run the halls between contractions, but I guess I forgot and ended up spending the first couple of hours taking it easy.

After a few hours, my Doctor came in and said, “It’s go time! Put on music, dance. You need to get up and get moving.” And so we did. We put on dance music…like club music…and I danced like crazy in between every single contraction..and after a short period of dancing, my water broke. At that point, everything got very intense. I was exhausted from being up for the past three nights with contractions and at that point, I could feel that I was unable to relax my body anymore…something I felt was very important for my body in the birthing process.  It was then that I decided to get an epidural.

With the epidural, my body relaxed and on the monitor we could see the contractions were one on top of the other. I fell asleep for thirty minutes and when I woke up, Gray’s head was out! The nurses wanted to wait for the Doctor to come because they said he would be upset if he missed the delivery so they called him at home and told him to come in to deliver my baby. We waited for him to arrive before I started pushing (so I sat there for about five minutes with the top of Gray’s head out while we waited for the Doctor to arrive at the hospital). My mom and in-laws happened to arrive during the time we were waiting for the Doctor with Holden and they peeked in to say hello, not realizing that Gray would be arriving any minute. They went back into the waiting room, trying to keep Holden awake a little longer so he could meet his baby brother.

The Doctor arrived and a few short pushes later, Gray was out and on my chest.

 

Holden came in a minute or two after Gray was born to meet his baby brother and they rested there together on my chest with Daddy looking over and all was right in the world.

It was seriously the best experience of my life. It was everything I could have dreamed it to be and more. I can be honest when I say I would have another baby JUST to be able to give birth again.

If any of you are considering a vbac and have any questions, please feel free to email me!  I’d be happy to talk about my experience more!

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I also wanted to share these words that my midwife said to me because they helped me come to peace with my unwanted cesarian. Birth is such a personal experience, that these words might not mean anything to you, but just in the chances that they help you too, I want to share them….

Still quite disheartened about having to have a c-section the first time around, I was talking about my experience with the midwife at one of the appointments and how I tried everything that I could to turn him, but he just wouldn’t budge. She looked at me and said, “Holden has his own mind. He is his own person. You can not control another person. You can’t make another person do anything.” For some reason, those words completely shifted my thinking about the entire thing. Perhaps in the back of my mind, I felt as though I had failed or my body had failed me because I couldn’t make it do what I wanted. And yet, it was nothing I did or didn’t do (despite how hard I tried). I couldn’t force Holden, an entirely different person than myself, to do something that he didn’t want to do and it was evident he did not want to move from where he was. Maybe he thought it was cozy right there or maybe he just didn’t want to leave. Regardless, it wasn’t my decision to make and her words helped me to accept what had happened.


Brickyard Buffalo Guest Editor Week

Brickyard Buffalo Guest Editor

Happy Monday, everybody! I am so excited to announce that today I have teamed up with Brickyard Buffalo as a Guest Editor where I have selected some of my favorite products and shops for myself and the boys to be sold at a special deal just for you guys! I seriously love being introduced to new things and hearing where other mama’s find their “must-have” or just fun items, so I hope you find something new that you love.  I’m sharing a few of the items below, but you can check out my other picks over on the Brickyard Buffalo site where you can get them all at a discount.

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The boys and I spend A LOT of time at the beach and I’m always looking for cute suits that are (most importantly) flattering, make me feel comfortable, and allow me to chase the boys around the sand. This Raising Wild suit is my absolute favorite swimsuit and I am so happy that I stumbled across them on Instagram. It just seems to fit in all the right places and I love that it is a one-piece that doesn’t make me feel like I’m wearing a “mom suit.”

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I love the idea of greenery and plants in my home, but unfortunately, it seems I have more of a brown thumb than a green one and plants generally don’t make it past a couple of weeks in our home. Pigment is one of my favorite stores in San Diego, they truly carry the cutest, most unique, products in there. They sent me home with this Pretty Planting Starter Kit and guess what, these guys are still thriving after a few months! Succelents are beautiful, but more importantly easy to take care of, and the kit comes with the exact directions you need to care for these babies (which is easy..1 syringe (which is provided) of water every week). It’s also a great way to brighten your home during the winter months for those that don’t live in Southern California.

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I am a boy mama and have actually always wanted to be one. Even when I was a lot younger, I would dream about my future life and I always envisioned having a household full of boys. So it’s no wonder that one of my favorite shops is Wild+Bear. They make these Boy Mama shirts which I love (for obvious reasons) and then these Long Live Boyhood tees as well for the boys.

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Lastly, I wanted to share Fin & Vince. I think that the clothing they create is very unique and I adore the sayings that they put on their t-shirts. This sup romper is one of my favorite pieces and I love that it’s unisex.

I hope that I’ve introduced you to some new things in this post that you love just as much as I do or just some pieces you already loved but love even more now because you can get it at a discount. Don’t forget to head over to Brickyard Buffalo to see what else I have picked out.


The Absence of Creativity

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging and social media recently, and more specifically, where my place is in the middle of it all. I have found myself yearning to further connect with other women and mothers and to learn from all of you. I want to share more of myself and my passions, and to encourage, inspire, and teach others in the things that I have learned and experienced through motherhood. I also want to help Holden pursue his passions and let this be a place that he can do that, alongside me.

2015 was a whirlwind year. After the birth of Gray, I felt as though I was in a fog, my creativity lost somewhere amongst the late night and early morning feedings. The brain power to focus and cultivate my passions was non existent. Where words once flowed freely, exiting out the tips of my fingers and onto my keyboard, my thoughts were suddenly silent.  I didn’t worry though. I knew that one day, most likely when I started to get more sleep, the haze would clear and I would find my voice again.

The end of 2015 is when I started to find myself again and it truly all began with Holden’s request to put on a local event. From there, my creativity started slowly seeping back in…I just had to brush off the layer of dust or two. Today, my mind is bursting with ideas and my heart exploding with possibilities and excitement. It feels good to be in this space right now.

So what prompted this sudden burst of clarity? Well, over the holiday season, we did something we have never done and put together and hosted an event here in San Diego when Holden decided he wanted to put on a toy drive to give to kids in need. We loved getting to meet some of you in person and work with a large number of our favorite small businesses and brands to give back to our community.

I shared this event over on 100 Layer Cakelet at the end of last year, but I wanted to also share the images here. This event was so refreshing, motivating, and uplifting for both Holden and myself and I look forward to following our passions and doing even more this year.

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^^^The entrance to Ollie & Me, the cutest baby boutique in town

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^^^All of the goodies in the swag bags we gave away to our guests

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^^^Sweet Treats by Hey There Cupcake. Seriously the best treats you will ever taste. People could not stop talking about these and they were gone in a matter of seconds. Glad I snagged one before the event started 😉

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^^^Absolutely stunning florals by L&S Design Co.

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^^^Party madness

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^^^Crafting by Hello Maypole

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^^^Hullabaloo Steve rocking out

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^^^Photobooth fun by Box Booth Collective

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^^^Photobooth backdrop by The Shift Creative

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^^^Giveaways for all of the people that donated a toy at the event

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^^^All of the donated toys!!!

Background on the event….

When Christmas decor starting popping up everywhere at the end of December, Holden could not stop talking about Christmas…specifically what he wanted for Christmas…about twenty times a day. I knew I needed to change the conversation because two months of hearing “I want” on daily basis was going to drive me crazy. We started discussing the true meaning of Christmas which led to Holden expressing interest in helping other children that weren’t as fortunate as he, specifically bringing them toys.

So together, with friends Kelli Murray and her daughter Rylee, we came up with the idea to host a holiday party and toy drive, which we called Holiplay Holiday, for parents and children to party, sing, dance, craft, and give back. We hoped that by inviting kids to our fun event, that we could encourage other children to get involved in giving back this holiday season.

Cheri from Ollie & Me (the cutest baby and children’s boutique you have ever stepped foot in) was kind enough to let us use her boutique for the event. Located on State Street in downtown Carlsbad, it was the perfect location for gathering a group of local moms and kiddos.

We collaborated with some amazing vendors, brands and businesses to create this wonderful event and when it was all said and done, we had hundreds of donated toys. The day before the event, we heard that the Salvation Army in San Diego had a shortage of toys, so we decided that was where we wanted to donate the toys from the event and we were able to donate two huge carloads of toys to the Salvation Army.

To encourage people to come out to the event and donate to our toy drive, we partnered with some amazing brands and businesses to giveaway some great products for both the children and mothers in attendance.

The first 25 guests to arrive at the event received a Petunia Pickle Bottom Shopping Tote stuffed with fun goodies from some of our favorite brands, including Steam Train, Dream Train from Chronicle Books, a reindeer from Build-A-Bear, a puzzle from BabyLit, sunglasses from Roshombo Baby, a pair of socks from Pals Socks, a hat from Grom Squad, skin products from Babyganics, and free lashes from Ciao Bella.

Throughout the event, we ran giveaways for those that donated a toy including

We had live music by Hullabaloo, a crafting station where moms and kids could make a snowman ornament by Hello Maypole, a photobooth by Mobile Photo Booth, and

We had live music by the ever so popular kids band, Hullabaloo Steve, for singing and dancing, ornament crafting by Hello Maypole taught by Jeadore Blogger, a photo booth by Mobile Photo Booth with a fun wintery backdrop created by The Shift Creative, and the Micro Truck parked out front to demo Micro Kickboard scooters for all of the little ones.

It was all very last minute and I couldn’t have been happier that it all came together so perfectly.

Music:  / Snowman ornament craft: Hello Maypole, taught by Nikki from Jeadore Blogger/ Sweet Treats: Hey There, Cupcake! / Baby and Toddler Meal Pouches: Once Upon a Farm / Scooter Fun: the Micro Truck / Photo Backdrop: Alexis from The Shift Creative / Photo booth: Mobile Photo Booth/ Florals: L&S Design Co. / Event Signage: Twinkle & Toast / Table and benches: Folklore Vintage Rentals