Sakura Bloom Sling Dairies: Community

I am beyond honored and humbled to be chosen as one of the fifteen women to participate in the Sakura Bloom Sling Diaries, Volume VI. Over the next six months, I will be sharing posts about motherhood and parenting, focusing on a specific theme each month. Sakura Bloom has provided me with slings to use throughout the course of this series.

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They say you never know the exact minute your life has changed; that circumstances and situations happen and one day you wake up and you just feel differently. It’s meant to be gradual. A shift in life is supposed to be like the rotation of the sun, happening so slowly that I barely know it’s happening” – J.S. Cooper

People tell you that life will change once you have a child. That life as you currently know it is over. Of course, I believed people when they said this, but I could never have fathomed how changed a person I would become.

I remember saying,”That won’t be me,” to my Mother-In-Law during an afternoon of shopping in the later stages of pregnancy when she suggested that I may not be as interested in the expensive purse I was eyeing through the store window after my little one arrived. “Well of course, I’ll want to shop for the baby clothes, but I’ll want to shop for myself just as much,” I replied with confidence. “You’ll see,” she said. “Things are just different when you have a child.” And she was right. What she was trying to get me to understand had nothing at all to do with shopping, but of course at that time I couldn’t comprehend motherhood.
The very second, a 6 lb, 13 oz bundle of baby boy was placed into my arms, I was a changed woman.

I loved him more than I knew it was possible to love. I didn’t want him to ever leave my arms, much less to spend a single second away from him. I could spend my entire day staring into his tiny baby face, breathing in his milky scent and kissing his perfectly shaped rosebud lips and be completely content. My life revolved around him.

I didn’t know that life could be this good. I was happy, I was whole. As a mother, I was able to truly find myself…and to be honest, I looked a lot different from the woman I knew pre-motherhood. Life had a whole new perspective and meaning, and I was changed woman.

And only another mother can fully understand this evolution. Only another mother can know what it’s like to give so much of yourself to another human being. Only another mother can grasp exactly what you have been through, are currently going through, and will go through on this journey of motherhood. You are not alone. Motherhood in and of itself is a community. In becoming a mother, you are instantly connected and bonded to thousands of women all over the world who know and understand what it is like to selflessly and unconditionally love another human being; to want someone else’s happiness over your own. We may all have different stories, but this common thread that we share, motherhood at it’s core, weaves us together and unites us in a language unspoken by anyone else.

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I am wearing Grayson in the Sakura Bloom Simple Silk Baby Sling in Vermilion.


3 Easy DIY Valentines to make with your sweet little valentine!

 

With this little baby of mine’s due date being on Valentine’s Day, my thoughts have been completely revolved around prepping for baby and birth and I honestly haven’t given much thought to the holiday. I woke up this morning (still pregnant) and felt bad that I hadn’t done any Valentine’s activities with Holden. So I hopped on Pinterest and found myself completely overwhelmed and under supplied for the majority of Valentine’s activities out there. Thankfully, Mom’s Best Network came to my rescue and shared these three easy DIY Valentine’s that you can make with your little one.  So if you’re like me and looking for some last minute activities, check out these easy V-day activities below.   you-rock-my-world-valentine-2

You Rock My World!

Supplies:
Rock Candy
Twine
Tag
Clear Bag

Directions: Place rock candy into clear bags, tie the bags safely shut, add the printable tag (download at the bottom of post) to the treat bag! Easy-Peasy!

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You’re The Milk To My Cookies!

Supplies:
Milk Bottles
Straw
Twine
Clear Bag
Cookies

Directions: Pick up some milk bottles, you local target has them 2 for $3 or you can recycle an cleaned simply orange-orange juice container! Add cookies, homemade or store bought, depending on your time, bag them, add the tag! That’s all, quick and easy!

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You Donut Know? You’re my Valentine!

Supplies:
Cake Donuts (store bought)
Frosting
Sprinkles
Clear Bag
Cup + Straw

Directions: Pick up some cake donuts from your local bakery, un-frosted. Make your favorite flavored frosting, add frosting to donuts, shake sprinkles. Bag the donuts, seal with twin + poor some milk in a cup, add some frosting + sprinkles to the rim. Voila, fun after school treat for the kiddos, complete!

“You’re the milk to my cookies!” DOWNLOAD the Milk tags HERE

“You Rock My World!” DOWNLOAD the You ROCK tags HERE

“You Donut know? You’re my Valentine!” DOWNLOAD the TAGS HERE from Paper and Pleats.


The Ultimate New Baby Gift Registry Giveaway

As a new mom (or even an experienced one), it is often hard to decipher what products you really need for your new baby. With my first child, I definitely went overboard and bought so many items that I didn’t end up using. This time around, I have decided to carefully edit my list of essentials, selecting tried and true products that I love from experience and are from brands I trust.

However, even once I narrowed down the list of essentials, I realized that a newborn’s “essentials list” is comprised of quite a few products, and rounding up and purchasing all of these items can feel overwhelming, both emotionally and financially. So today, I want to help all of you mamas out!

I am beyond excited to announce that I am teaming up with one of my favorite resources for all things motherhood, Mom’s Best Network, on The Ultimate New Baby Gift Registry Giveaway where one lucky mama or mama-to-be will win all of the items listed below. All of the products included in the giveaway are products that I have used and loved with #1 or are new products that I will be using for baby #2, and I am confident that you will love them just as much as I do.

One lucky mama will have the chance to WIN all of this….see the details of each item + how to enter below!

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1.  Halo Bassinet
2.  One house cleaning from HOME JOY
3.  Bouncer from Baby Bjorn
4.  Union Suit from Goat Milk NYC
5.  Swaddle blanket from Bramwell Designs
6.  Soft toy baby blocks from Land of Nod
7.  Tubby Todd bath gift set
8.  PUJ Tub
9.  Hooded towel from Little Giraffe
10.  Fuzzibunz 3 One Size Diapers, 2 Monkey Diapers any size + Detergent + Pre-wash
11.  Diaper Pail from Munchkin
12.  Latch newborn gift set from Munchkin
13.  Nuna mini Sena
14.  Inglesina Trilogy stroller in denim

A special thanks to our sponsors who have made this giveaway possible…

Ultimate new baby registry sponsors

 

TO ENTER ::

1. COMPLETE the ENTRY WIDGET below…

2. Giveaway ends FRIDAY, February 13 at 11:59 PM MST.  The winner will be announced within 24 hrs.  All entries will be verified so make sure you complete the necessary items.

3. Must be 18 years of age or older, open to everyone (international)

Good luck!!

Baby Registry Giveaway


Newborn Essentials

Earlier this week, I had the honor of guest posting on the Stay and Co blog where I shared what I consider to be newborn essentials. I loved the list so much that I couldn’t help but share over here as well, so here it is…

When I was pregnant with my first son, Holden, I went completely overboard and bought every single product out there that was marketed towards newborns. There are so many different products out there that it is hard to know what you will actually need and what products your newborn baby will like. We ended up with so many products that we never used, that this second time around I have decided to only buy the necessities, the tried and true products that we used again and again with our firstborn. Below is my carefully edited list of basics and essentials that you will want to have for your new baby.

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SLEEP

1. Bassinet // With a newborn waking up several times throughout the night, I found it essential to have my new baby close to my bedside which is why a bassinet comes in handy. I absolutely adore this hanging Leander cradle and plan to use it with our newest addition. Newborns love constant movement, so I love the fact that this bassinet provides gentle movement every time your baby moves.

2. Crib // Unless co-sleeping, you will need a crib, crib mattress, and waterproof mattress pad. I think it’s important to choose a crib that grows with your child so that you can use the bed into toddlerhood. This Incy Interiors Georgia crib is one of my favorites. Based out of Australia, Incy Interiors makes gorgeous cribs that come in a wide variety of colors.

3. Bouncer // You will want a bouncer or baby seat, a soothing place where your baby can sit when not sleeping or in your arms. We have chosen the Nuna Leaf for our new baby. The Nuna Leaf provides a gentle swaying movement. There are no cords or batteries which makes it incredibly easy to move around the house. My favorite thing about this baby seat is the fact that it can be used up to 120 pounds which means my toddler can sit in it too without breaking it (and if you’re wondering, yes he has already tested it out).

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4. Onesies and Layettes // Although you may be tempted into purchasing “outfits” for your new baby (I know I did), he/she will most likely live in onesies and layettes. When they are brand new, you will only want the softest, most comfortable clothing touching that brand new, sensitive skin. These Stay & Co. layettes are incredibly soft, comfortable, and easy to get on and off. The fact that they each have a matching hat is an added bonus.

5. Blankets // You will use blankets for everything from swaddling and keeping warm in the stroller, to laying on the ground for tummy time or a picnic at the park. Seriously, you can not have enough blankets. I could never have enough Aden & Anais swaddle blankets and these Stay & Co. blankets are great as an option for everything else.

6. Booties // Newborns can’t regulate their temperatures properly at the beginning so it’s important to keep their heads and feet covered. I found that socks didn’t always stay on a new baby’s feet, so I have bought several pairs of knit booties for our little one currently on the way thinking that these may have a better chance of staying on. These knit booties and these bear booties are affordable and adorable.

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7. Swaddle Wrap // Swaddling was a lifesaver for us. When we didn’t swaddle, Holden’s flailing arms, the startle reflex, often woke him up. Swaddling helped him feel warm and secure, and kept him from waking himself up or scratching himself during his sleep. We tried a variety of swaddle wraps and the Ergobaby Swaddler was one of my favorites.

8. White Noise Machine // This is another product that we consider an absolute necessity in our home. We currently use both the myBaby Soundspa and The First Years Sounds for Silence Nursery Sound Machine and I feel as though it is going to be even more important for our newborn this time around with a toddler running around the house.

9. Pacifier // We only used a pacifier on occasion with Holden, but I feel that they are important for helping to soothe newborns (only after breastfeeding has been well established) who have a strong suck reflex. They also reduce the risk of SIDs which always helped my peace of mind. My favorites are these Natursutten Organic Pacifiers.

BATHE

10. Shampoo & Body Wash // When bathing your new baby, you want something natural. California Baby is hands down my favorite brand when it comes to baby skincare products. Holden had very sensitive skin and a slight case of eczema and California Baby was honestly the only line of skincare product that did not irritate his skin. Despite no longer having sensitive skin, these are still the only baby bath products that we use in our house today.

11. Bathtub // The Puj tub is my absolute favorite bathtub. It is soft and flexible, fits easily into the sink, and can lay flat against the wall for storage.

12. Towel // You will need several hooded bath towels for your little one. The Little Giraffe hooded towels are my favorite because they are incredibly soft and look cute too.

DIAPERING

13. Diapers // I know it’s not for everybody, but I use cloth diapers. I use Fuzzibunz one size cloth diapers and loved the fact that we were able to use them from the time Holden was born until he was out of diapers. We will be using these again with our next little guy.

14. Diaper Pail // Regardless of whether you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers, a good diaper pail is a necessity. This is not an area to skimp on because with all of the diapers you will be changing you want to ensure you are purchasing a product that will hide the smell. We use (and love) the Ubbi Diaper Pail because it can be used with a washable/reusable cloth liner.

15. Wipes // Even when using disposable diapers, I opt for cloth wipes for newborns. The Grovia Cloth Wipes are my hands down favorites. I use the cloth wipes with a little bit of water and they do the trick. If I need something a little extra, I use the California Baby Diaper Area Wash. They are incredibly soft and much thicker than the other wipes ones I tried. I can’t recommend them enough.

PLAY

16.-18. It is never to early to engage your baby. These Art Cards, Nesting Dolls, and Board Book are great black and white options, perfect for interacting with your newborn.

GETTING AROUND

19. Carseat // To get around, you will need a carseat. Holden never liked his carseat (as in he never once fell asleep in the car). I will be using the Nuna PIPA which is beautifully designed by the Dutch brand and will hopefully lull our little one to sleep while we drive.

20. Babywearing // I am a huge proponent of baby wearing. I wore Holden all day, every day as it was one of the only things that soothed him. I know it will be just as, if not more, important with a second baby since we will be out and about a lot more this time around. I love the Solly Baby Wrap.

21. Stroller // You will use a stroller often, so you want to find one that will last well into toddlerhood. I will be using the Nuna IVVI stroller with this new baby. What I love about this stroller is that it is made for birth up to 50 pounds. Whereas other strollers will require you to use a carseat or bassinet for newborns, the Nuna IVVI has a newborn insert that enables you to use the seat for newborns when the seat is fully reclined.

 


Pregnancy Essentials

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As I come to the end of my pregnancy, I thought I would share the maternity pieces that I couldn’t live without and the items used over and over again during this pregnancy. Below are what I would consider pregnancy essentials that every mama-to-be should have.

AN LBD THAT LASTS - If you want to receive a compliment every single time you wear something, then you need to run out and buy this Isabella Oliver dress right now. Trust me! I have worn this dress constantly all the way from my first trimester through to my third trimester. There is just something about this dress. It is comfortable, hugs in all of the right areas, and will last you your entire pregnancy.

STAYING HYDRATED - Drinking plenty of water during pregnancy not only helps you retain more amniotic fluid (more room for your baby!) and avoid those dreaded cramps and headaches that result from dehydration. It can’t hurt to have a cute tumbler to remind you to drink throughout the day and this Ban.do tumbler is one of my favorites.

MATERNITY/NURSING BRA - You will need a new bra because we all know that there are some changes that happen there. There are so many maternity/nursing bras out there, but Cake Maternity actually make bras that don’t look like they are made for nursing. If you want something that makes you feel good, but is also practical during your pregnancy, then I definitely recommend checking out Cake Maternity.

STYLISH FLATS – Even if you are a heels girl, at some point you are going to resort to wearing only flats. I found some really cute ones over on Sole Society for $30 that are comfortable to run around in all day long while still making me feel like I have dressed up.

UP YOUR SKINCARE REGIME - I am slightly crazy about my skin during pregnancy. I use an oil and then a lotion all over my body once to twice a day. Not only is my skin a lot drier during pregnancy (I often dream about taking a lotion bath), but I hope to avoid stretch marks by keeping my skin hydrated. Earth Mama Angel Baby create all-natural skincare products for both mama and baby, and their pregnancy products are hands down my favorite skincare products for keeping my skin healthy and hydrated throughout my pregnancy. I have used their products during both pregnancies and have so far avoided stretch marks. (I also highly recommend their pregnancy teas)

GET PLENTY OF SLEEP - Easier said than done, I know. Everyone tells you to get as much sleep as possible before the new baby arrives, but then you find yourself with pregnancy insomnia, having to wake up and pee every other hour, and changing positions every other minute trying to find a way to lay down. I swear I might get less sleep than when I’m up caring for a newborn. While there is nothing you can do to help the first two issues, the Bump Nest pillow is the solution for a comfortable sleep. Honestly, I don’t know how pregnancy women get by without one of these pillows! And the Bump Nest 2015 line of pillows have amazing prints and patterns so you can actually leave them out on your bed during the day.

SUPPORT WEAR - There will come a time in your pregnancy that your belly starts to just feel heavy. This is where Blanqi comes in. They make ultra supportive maternity wear that will be game changers for your pregnancy wardrobe. Not only do they help shape your body, but they basically hold everything in and up making for a more comfortable and better looking pregnancy. My favorite pieces are the Maternity Lift High Performance Belly Lift & Support Leggings and the Maternity Underbust High Performance Belly Support Tank.

COMFORTABLE UNDERGARMENTS - I really don’t like anything touching my stomach when I’m pregnant which is why I wear a lot of dresses, so my underwear has to be the stretchiest and most comfortable underwear out there otherwise it bothers me the entire day. Hanky Panky is the only brand that makes underwear that I can’t feel.

STATEMENT TEE - When I’m pregnant, I like to shout it from the mountain tops. There’s also that time at the beginning of your pregnancy where people aren’t quite sure whether you’re pregnant or if you might just have eaten one too many donuts (they blatantly eye your belly before quickly turning away with an embarrassed look on their face). Oh Baby Chic makes super cute statement tees for mamas like this Tres Chic Mama sweatshirt that let everyone know you’re a soon-to-be mama.

TALK TO YOUR BABY - Belly Buds is just a fun way to interact and connect with your baby while still in the womb. You can play music or share voice recordings with your little one during your pregnancy. You can also have other family members create voice recordings which is nice when daddy goes out of town.