wearing one of my hands down favorite, most comfortable maternity items by Isabella Oliver
Sometimes, with social media being such a big part of our lives these days, it is easy to get caught up in a constant game of “keeping up with the Joneses” and for some reason, seeing glimpses of everyone’s fall photos (you know, the changing leaves, the fires blazing in the living room, the cozy sweaters and knits) pop up on my instagram and pinterest feeds left me with a severe case of envy. In Southern California we were experiencing a heat wave and I almost felt as though I was depriving Holden of something by him not getting to experience the changing seasons and all of those special moments I remember from my childhood (jumping in leaves, building snowmen, etc.).
But with Thanksgiving quickly approaching I have been working on the mindset to be thankful for what I have and I found that when I started looking around and counting all of the blessings in my life (regardless of how big or small), I have found myself filled with gratitude for this life of mine (funny how changing your mindset can make the world look so different).
This season in our lives is just beyond perfect. I feel so incredibly lucky for this boy of mine who seems to be growing up by leaps and bounds every single day. More and more I feel like I am spending every day with my best friend - we can go to a cafe and stay for hours talking, laughing, and playing. We have been taking advantage of this beautiful weather and have found ourselves at the beach almost everyday for the past two weeks, playing in the sand and splashing in the water. And it’s days like the one pictured above that make me thankful for this city we call home.
As I’m entering my third trimester (which I am still trying to wrap my head around because wow, this pregnancy has flown by), I find myself obsessed with nesting. My mind has been swirling with ideas on how to redecorate our home, diy furniture projects for my husband to carry out, and all of the necessary baby items that we need to purchase. Since my brain is all over the place, I’ve decided to start my ever-growing project list by singling out my five favorite and necessary baby items…
First up, a place to sleep. We co-slept with Holden for almost 3 years, so although we had bought a crib for him before he was born, we never ended up using it. It wasn’t what we had originally planned to do, but it’s what worked for Holden and our family (whatever gets you the most sleep, right?). For this next little bebe, I would still like to have a place for him to sleep (even if it’s just for naps) and I like the idea of something that can be close to our bed, but also moved around the house to different rooms. I think that I may have found the perfect solution with this gorgeous hanging cradle.
Next up, a ride. I have been obsessing over this stroller for years. Soon after we were married, the husband and I spent some time in Copenhagen (a city that we both fell completely head over heels for) and the city was filled with gorgeous mamas pushing their little ones in these modern-day prams. I vowed that when we had children, this would be the stroller. Unfortunately, when Holden was born I discovered that they don’t sell or ship to the U.S. which actually worked out since Holden never like riding in strollers anyways. So unless I plan another trip to Copenhagen in the next month or so, baby #2 also won’t be riding in this beauty, but I just still can’t seem to get this gorgeousness out of my mind.
And don’t forget a wrap. I can’t mention a baby’s first ride without including a wrap. Babywearing was a lifesaver for us when Holden was born. I probably own about five to ten different types of baby carriers and Holden lived in them until I got pregnant this year and could no longer carry him. From the time he was born, Holden never enjoyed riding in the stroller, always preferring to be close to me and being a first-time mom, I found myself rarely wanting to put him down. Wraps are my favorite way to carry a newborn and I believe will be essential as a mama to a newborn and a toddler. Holden and I are constantly out and about and I know that baby brother will be living in the wrap by Solly Baby so that he can easily join our everyday adventures.
The coming home outfit. I don’t know why baby’s coming home outfit is such a big deal (or maybe that’s just me), but I remember stressing about finding the perfect outfit for Holden for that day we left the hospital until I stumbled across Paige Lauren. Holden wore a Paige Lauren romper on his way home from the hospital and I think our next little guy will as well. I always found their clothing to be one of the softest-to-the-touch out there and when you have a newborn baby, you only want the softest and most comfortable clothing touching their skin. All of the designs are simple and classic so you won’t look back at photos and wonder what you were thinking with your outfit choice. I think this little romper and matching hat is the perfect outfit for a newborn baby.
And lastly, the toy. I think that a baby’s first toy should be a keepsake, something beautifully made and designed, and an item we don’t mind being put into our baby’s mouth. I’ve always leaned towards knit or wooden toys rather than plastic ones (yes, I am one of those moms) and try to find toys that are simple, well-crafted, and last for years. We were gifted this gorgeous hand-knit taxi rattle by Estella NYC, the first item to be baby #2′s very own, and this rattle is everything I look for in a toy. Made from 100% cotton and BPA free, the rattle is soft to the touch and is perfect for little hands (although I must admit that Holden enjoys playing “taxi” with it as well….shhh, don’t tell brother!). I can’t wait to introduce this gorgeous item to our baby boy. You can check out the whole collection of Estella hand-knit baby rattles here, and right now, Estella is offering Bel & Beau readers 15% off a purchase of $50 or more using the code EST15OFF29 now through December 15th.
Bel wears :: Isabella Oliver Roliston Maternity Jumpsuit
Beau wears :: Moi Black Raven Jumpsuit
I’m currently heading into my third trimester and to be honest, this whole pregnancy still feels quite surreal. I keep waiting for it to “hit” me that I am pregnant, but it still hasn’t seemed to happen. With Holden’s pregnancy, I was so attuned to the fact that I was pregnant, completely engrossed in pregnancy blogs and baby books, the thought that I was pregnant completely engrossing my every moment of every day. I spent an hour of everyday at a prenatal yoga class and three hours a week in the Bradley Method class. Life at that point was all about pregnancy.
Yet, this pregnancy is completely different. My everyday is spent as a mama to a sweet and energetic boy and we are on-the-go adventuring 24/7. I am almost constantly on the go so it’s not until those small moments of quiet in the day that I get my one-on-one time with bebe – when I am still for the first time that day and bebe knows it, kicking to acknowledge the quiet and let me know he is ready for our conversations to begin.
It’s interesting what a stark contrast this pregnancy has been from the last, but one thing that has been true for both pregnancies is how much I love being pregnant. Watching my body change to accommodate this little human growing inside me fascinates me and almost nothing can compare to feeling your baby kick in response to your voice.
We seriously just can’t wait for the day that we get to meet him. Valentine’s Day can’t come soon enough.
On Bel :: Rachel Pally dress, Forever21 hat
On Beau :: So Little So Hip Suspenders, H&M t-shirt and shorts, Puma shoes
It’s been a while since I’ve been to this space, but with this new chapter in our lives closing as a family of three, I’m finding myself wanting to document more of our lives together. There is something about putting words with photographs that helps to engrave that memory deeper into your mind or just simply spark a memory that you thought was completely forgotten. Looking back at the beginning of this blog, reading my entries and looking through the photographs of Holden as an infant, I find myself back in that place, reliving all of Holden’s idiosyncrasies, my thoughts as a new mother, and our life back then. And I find myself missing that – missing putting words down on “paper” to forever etch into memory these times in our lives. And while I do keep a private journal for Holden, there is something about adding pictures to words that makes everything that much more real and tangible. So I’m back…to sharing our adventures as a family of three, soon-to-be-four!!!, and everything that entails.
all images by Acres of Hope Photography
This photo shoot was something I put together with Tori and Cassidy for Mini Style Blog and BUHO Clothing, but I couldn’t help share some of the images here too. These three little friends have so much fun together that it was just an added bonus that Erica was there to capture it all.