Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion (we have tried a bunch of different fancy organic brands, but the classic pink bottle is my favorite. I just smells like BABY.)
Avent Soothie Pacifiers
Miracle Swaddle Blanket (I love the Aden & Anais muslin wraps for when we are out and about, but nighttime sleep calls for something a little more locked and loaded! We still have the Summer Infant SwaddleMe blankets from when Z was a newborn nugget, but I figured I would order one of the Miracle Blankets to see what all the hype was about.)
Holy cow, y’all… We are having a baby! Soon.
(Note 1: Funny how this time around, I have at least a vague clue of the stuffs & such we will need for baby’s arrival…I am no longer a neomama, am I?)
(Note 2: Thanks to the internet, I am stocking the nursery from the comfort of my breakfast nook while Hazel naps. God, I love online shopping.)
(Note 3: It is worth noting that my amazon prime subscription is unarguably the best $80 I spend all year!)
The In Between asked: Hi! I’m a college student looking for a rad tote for this upcoming school year. Most college girls carry Longchamp totes. I like them, but the corners fray from carrying heavy books, so I don’t see the point in spending $100+ on a bag that’s going to tear. Any recommendations for a quality stylish tote? Thanks! -MB
Shopping for a school bag? What a fun task.
Under $100? No problem! I can’t speak first hand to how well these bags hold-up, but they sure look fantastic!
The thing about school bags is that you need something that works on the days you are looking all cute-like for class….as well as those mornings where lululemon leggings are as good as it is going to get. You need a bag that is….Easy. Right?
With Navy being white-hot this fall and since textured bags are always in, here are 3 fall totes that I am lusting after.
I know you asked for a tote, but have you considered a backpack. Fear not - backpacks don’t have to be dorky (but it is worth noting that I carry a laptop backpack to work and it is the single most busted…but practical!…bag on the market. Here it is….Go ahead and laugh, I do everytime I catch a reflection of myself on my walk to the office.)
Here are a few backpacks I am particularly keen on:
I get asked often about my pregnancy cravings. I think people just get a kick out of hearing what off-the-wall foods pregger chicks obsess over.
Last time (first trimester), It was pumpkin pie. This craving was a little inconvenient because turns out pumpkin pie isn’t easy to find in the middle of the summer, but my Mimi came to my rescue whipping up off-season spiced pies for me!
This pregnancy it has been lemons, lemon heads (the candy)
and ice. Softish crushed ice (c/o the dispenser on our freezer door).
This started just a couple of weeks ago and even though I know it is terrible on my teeth, I literally can’t stop myself. I am up to about 5 tall glasses of ice daily.
I will mention it to my doctor at my appointment tomorrow as I have heard it can actually be a sign of low iron, but I am not terribly concerned - I have read ice chomping is not all that uncommon with expecting mothers. Did anyone else experience this?
Do men at your company get paternity leave? Do they take it?
Yup! 6 weeks. And every proud papa I know at work has taken his entire leave…
It is worth noting, dudes are given the option of taking their 6 weeks at any point in time during the first year - so it isn’t uncommon to see guys stretch out their leave in a few different multi-week intervals.
Diaper Bags [that don't make me want to chop off my own arm]
A week before Hazel was born, I splurged on a Storksak diaper bag that ended up being worth every penny. Those first few months, it held everything I needed to take long walks around the city, drive down to visit my grandma or just be away from home with the baby for a full day.
Mary Poppin’s purse had nothing over my Storksak!
But as Hazel transitioned from the bassinet stroller to the upright position, the bag became a little too bulky (and more than we needed) to tote around on our shorter outings….so on a whim, we decided to pick up a less expensive “on the go” tote.
We went with the SkipHop Messenger bag…. and I HATE it. I HATE every last thing about this busted bag….and even though I still use it for Hazel, I literally curse it’s name, everytime I strap it across my shoulders (we call the bag “into the abyss” because once you put something in there - the odds of it being lost forever are very, very high)
It’s terrible. Hard to access, my stuff flies out of the front flap pockets every single time I open it, zippers get stuck, inside pocket design is bizarre, and the outside material has snagged and pilled.
All in all, I just don’t think it is a well-designed piece. (sorry if you have this bag and love it….it just doesn’t work for me)
With H2 on the way, I have been considering replacing our SkipHop….so I have been doing some online hunting. And Since I have gotten several questions from mamas to be about diaper bag suggestions, I figured I would share some of my favorites with y’all.
Aren’t these sharp?! Spotted these Danzo bags at Barneys and fell in love with their modern shape and incredible inside organization system! Oprah is apparently also a fan, as these bags landed on her O List last year thanks to the “Clear pockets, detachable shoulder strap, nylon changing pad, and 25 Velcro labels that make this the ultimate mother’s little helper”
Before having a baby, I was one of those girls who said she would convert a cute purse into my diaper bag….well, turns out, that is a terrible idea because more than anything - you need your diaper bag to be super practical. The insulated pockets, changing pad slot and in-bag-organizers all are new-mom life savers.
What I love about this Marc by Marc Jacobs bag is that it has all of the functional features mentioned above….without actually looking like a diaper bag.
I haven’t yet seen this bag in person, but it sure looks good on my screen and the specs sound promising. I think I would prefer a bag that has an attachable shoulder strap, but if that is not important to you - you might want to add this to the consideration list.
I know these bags aren’t necessarily the most budget friendly (and to be honest, I am still not convinced I will pony up the cash to buy a replacement), but I wanted to share my dream bags with any mama’s looking to splurge a little…
If I can’t enjoy a new one, perhaps I will live vicariously through you :)
I clutched my tummy, climbed in awkwardly and asked the driver to take me to Prenctice Women’s Hospital (the spot in the city where babies are born)
He whipped around. Eyes-wide. HUGE smile.
No, No. Not me! Not yet, at least. I assured him. I’m just going to visit a friend.
For a moment, I could see genuine disappointment cross his face. This dude totally thought today was his day to be the hero taxi-driver who delivers a woman in labor to the hospital stoop…maybe even helps her inside as she mouth breathes her way through contractions.
And for a moment, I was sort of bummed that I couldn’t be that fare.
Our next baby doc appt (36 weeks) is my favorite one of the pregnancy…. we get one last ultrasound and go through our birth plan with the doctor.
Our plan looks a whole lot like it did last time and can be more or less summed in 3 words:
1. HAVE A BABY!
Other than that, we have a few birth GOALS (and a couple of lessons learned from our experience last time)….
but really, as long as objective #1 is achieved, none of this other stuff is all that important.
2. Walk to the Hospital. We live about a 1.5 miles from Prentice Hospital and provided go-time doesn’t fall in the middle of the night or in the middle of a rainstorm - I would like to try to stroll to the hospital. We had the opportunity to walk there for Hazel and despite the fact I had to stop on the corner every 5 minutes and hold onto street signs while I let the contractions pass, it was one of those husband/wife walks that I will never….ever forget.
3. Epidural: Oh hell YES! I think it is awesome that some mamas are all about doing this baby-pushing business naturally…..but I fall into the “better living through modern medicine” camp. And when it comes to the epidural, my request is to bring on the drugs EARLY and OFTEN.
4. Husband + My sis Ellie in the Delivery Room. Simon being there is a given, but I loved having my nurse/sis El there to keep us entertained, calm and comfortable during labor. When I asked if she join us for the birth of H2, her response: duh.
5. Come prepared with downloaded eps of This American Life and perhaps, Newsroom. Turns out, labor can last for-eeeeeev-errrrr. During the 24 hours before Hazel arrived - I was so grateful for the macbook full of Ira Glass and Tim Riggins that helped us pass the time. We will definitely do this again.
Having said that, Simon had put together some sort of push-time-playlist for Hazel’s delivery but once we got to that point in labor…I just wanted it quiet so I could focus on the task at hand; therefore, “push music” has been removed entirely from our pre-birth to-do list this time around.
6. Pack a toiletry bag of dream products. Right before it came time to push with Hazel, I washed my face with Tea Tree Cleansing wipes, spritzed some rose water, applied coconut oil on my cheeks & Bamford gloss on my lips & Weldela lotion on my hands…. and as ridiculous as it sounds, taking this moment to primp gave me a sense of preparedness that helped me feel like I was really ready to do this thing! Plus, I distinctly remember thinking how lovely the aromatherapy of my lotions and potions smelled as my doctor counted backwards from 10.
7. Have a blast! Z’s birth day was not only the single greatest day of my life…it was the most fun too. True: pushing a baby out is work and it kind of hurts, but once this baby girl is in my arms, all of the the not-so-fun parts of the day will be forgotten…so enjoy every second of labor & delivery!
You always seem to find the loveliest inpirational quotes. Do you have any go-to quotes you love that you can share? I'm sending flowers to my Aunt who lost her daughter a few months back and I need something uplifting. Any ideas?
Well, thank you….and to give credit where due, I feel like everyone I follow here on tumblr is pretty inspiring and I just enjoy passing along the gems they find!
Having said that - my favorite source for on-the-money quotes has to be On Her Way. That girl knows what’s up…
“You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, I told him, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.”
Not counting today, I have 5 work days left until Mat. Leave.
5 days! That is blowing my mind.
My company is incredible…. and incredibly generous when it comes to paid parental leaves. For fathers. For same-sex couples who adopt. And especially for new mamas.
As a mother-to-be, I get to enjoy 4 weeks off of work pre-baby (!) and nearly 5 months of leave after her arrival.
As if the time isn’t enough, they also gift new parents “baby-bonding bucks.” It’s like a little bonus to be used for take-out, cleaning-service… basically anything to make your life a little easier those hectic first few weeks.
It makes a difference. Thanks to the ample time I had off after Hazel arrived, I was (physically/emotionally/mentally) ready to return to work…and able to kick butt once doing so. The generous leave my company provided enabled me to commit to my career in a way that I would have not been able to do if I had to be back at my desk just 6, 8, 12 weeks post-partum.
This time around, I fully intend to enjoy every second of my leave (again) And when it is time to head back to work in Feb….I look forward to returning as a high performing, enthusiastic employee who knows that while my company asks for so much from its workers, they GIVE so much in return.
Also, because some of you have asked:
What is our plan for our Nanny while I am on leave?
Here’s the thing(s)….I love her. Hazel loves her. Our Nanny has enabled me to be a working mom who can focus entirely while at the office and return home to a happy baby and peaceful house. I can’t risk losing that…so asking her to take 6 months off (and hope that she will be available when we need her again next year) is just not really an option - so we will keep her employed.
However, when at home with my kiddos, I don’t necessarily want full-time outside help (that is not to say I don’t love being around our nanny…it’s just that I want to take full advantage of the time I have off with my girls), so I have a feeling we will be letting our Nanny come late/leave early most days.
It’s sort of like we both get to enjoy a paid leave!
I just signed Hazel up for a mommy & me music class for the fall. Ah, Hazel gets to go to school!!! I get to tag-along!!!
Did someone say finger cymbals?! (Look at me taking advantage of this stay-at-home-mom stint.)