Photos by Chrissy Powers Photography
That deep belly laugh that Grayson emits when I accidentally touch his arm pits in that sweet spot when I’m changing his clothes. That uncontrollable giggle that escapes Holden when he finds something funny. That chuckle I share with my husband as I share the days events and the things Holden said and Grayson did. These are the moments that are currently on repeat in our household day in and day out.
Laughter is the cure for almost anything and something that I’ve never had so much of since two children entered my lives. Whether it’s a case of the giggles, tickle shrieks, light chuckles, deep belly laughs, the laugh until you cry, even the I’m deliriously tired cry that turns into a laugh, life with children is full of laughter. Having children seems to have awakened in me a pure joy that I never knew could have existed and the way that they live their life with unabandoned happiness is completely infectious.
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.
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.
I am wearing Grayson in the Sakura Bloom Simple Silk Baby Sling in Vermilion.
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!
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!
You’re The Milk To My 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!
You Donut Know? You’re my Valentine!
Cake Donuts (store bought)
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.
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!
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…
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)
Baby Registry Giveaway
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.