December 15, 2018

..Potato Sack for the Win


Hello. These photos are from Thanksgiving. Yes, it has taken me until the week before Christmas to post them but here they are. I always say I use this blog to document my life so I can look back one day sort of like an online memory book so I figured throwing these up here a little late won't make any difference in a few years. It was our first one as a family of three, spent at my in-laws house. I made my favorite butternut squash bake recipe and a homemade apple pie WITH a homemade crust which I haven't done before. It was delicious. Being on maternity leave over the holiday season has been exquisite. I get to put on Christmas music, light a fresh balsam candle, and wrap presents with Isla on the floor next to me cooing. It's the best. It's all the feel goods. It's basically holiday crack. She loves the lights on the tree and I just want to cuddle her all damn day!

Also this dress is an actual potato sack and I LOVE it. Was the best choice for a thanksgiving day feast post baby. Also cozy and under $100! Usually I have issues with sweater dresses and how they fit which has made me shy away from them in years past but this one is just the right shape and fit. One of my besties also purchased it and loves it too! Such an easy holiday lewk.

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November 20, 2018

..Casual Leopard Print


I know, I know. Another maternity/nursing dress but hey, such is my life right now! Gotta have access to the milk makers and this dress does just that. I've worn it so many times and it's so nice to have in my closet for those days I want to feel fall-y but also comfortable enough to chill on the couch in because it feels like a t-shirt (let's be honest that's mostly what I do these days since I'm still on my maternity leave). Now let me talk about these probably clicked the link and were like WTF homegirl I would not pay $550 for black suede booties even if I were tripping on acid. I get it. They were a Poshmark score! I nabbed them for under $150! Love that app almost as much as I love my child, definitely as much as I love my husband.

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November 5, 2018

..Flowy Army Green


Hello again from my terrace! It's the easiest place for me to snap pics of my outfits so I hope you don't get too bored of this view. I purchased this dress back in August thinking it would be a good post baby dress because the front is flowy and forgiving and there are buttons down the front for easy boob access. Guess what? I was right! I throw on this lovely little piece all the time and it makes life easy. I wore it to my husbands birthday dinner in September and countless times since. I love that it has transitioned with me from the hotter end of summer days into fall with the addition of a felt hat and some boots.

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October 25, 2018

..Our Newborn Photoshoot & 3 Reasons You Should Book One

The deets: All photos by Emily Belson Photography; My dress; Isla's bubble; all nursery details here.

Hi! I haven't popped in in a couple weeks but hey, thats life with a new baby. We got our newborn shoot photos back a couple weeks ago and I love them so much I wanted to share on the blog! Emily did an awesome job! If you live in the DMV area you should 1000% book her for your family's special moments or events.  She also did a blog post on our shoot you can read here.  

Also instead of just posting a bunch of pretty pictures I wanted to make my case for why you should  go ahead and book a newborn shoot because I know some people are on the fence about them. I also posted previously about why you should book an engagement shoot here.

1. You don't need to go the cheeseball 90's Anne Geddes route (but you totally can if that is your thing). We wanted to just capture some really relaxed and natural pictures of us in this special time. We picked out a simple outfit we both loved for her in the last month of my pregnancy while we were out on a date in Georgetown which also felt really special. We placed her in her changing table basket for a few shots but the rest were just really simple. Our photographer just knew what we were looking for and was able to get natural shots that we love and feel truly represent this precious time.

2. Speaking of time - you can't really delay! Make sure you book your shoot before birth because most photographers need at least a month to figure out when to fit you in and I also learned that babies start to get less - well - adorable a few weeks after birth so you want to schedule it in that two week mark (ours were done on day 12). Their hair starts to thin out around their fast growing head and they get baby acne around week three sometimes so you want to get your pictures done before that starts to happen. I know it's a little vein but I'm being honest here!

3. The two weeks after you have your baby go by at an EXPONENTIALLY fast rate. It's all a blur! Isla is only 7 weeks old and her true "newborn" days feel like ages ago. I hardly remember her being that tiny already so I am so happy we captured her and our family that way. Even though I still have my postpartum bump showing, I look so tired in the eyes, and the swelling in my legs and feet had not gone away yet (and are all clearly visible in these photos) - I don't regret putting them out there one bit because it's all part of the experience and a true representation of that tiny magical slice of life.  When I look at these pictures I want to tear up because I remember the love and excitement of getting acquainted with my little girl.

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October 10, 2018

..The Best Lactation Cookie Recipe & My Top 6 Supply Tips for Pumping


Okay so I know this post isn't for everyone but in case you are also a new mama who is breastfeeding or exclusively pumping (like I am)  I want to share this recipe (it's not mine) because I feel like it works really well and they actually taste pretty good. I have been eating a couple a day since my milk came in and feel like they do make a difference. I also wanted to share some other tips I have gleaned so far from my pumping experience. I know the internet is flooded with tips and tricks but these are what truly helped me. I won't suggest an optimal schedule because that really varies from woman to woman (I pump every 4-5 hours during the day but I know a lot of ladies swear by every 3 hours). I produce between 30-33oz each day. The baby eats 24-30 and I freeze anything extra that day. Sometimes I can freeze 6oz sometimes I don't have enough to freeze anything but I always at least make plenty for the baby to eat!

1. If your at home pump doesn't seem to be producing enough milk to keep up with your baby - invest in renting the hospital grade pump. I was having a really hard time getting my milk to fully come in after taking her home from the hospital so we had to supplement with formula for a few days. As soon as I brought home the better pump I immediately saw a difference in volume that very day.

2. Check to make sure the shield size is correct for you (I used this to find out)! I was using the standard size that comes with your pump at first but ended up needing the 27mm size. When I made the switch I immediately saw a second increase in volume that day.

3. Do NOT be afraid to supplement if you need to. Stress is a supply killer and if you are constantly worried about keeping your child fed you will definitely be stressed! We had a pretty scary experience her first couple days home when I wasn't making enough colostrum before my milk came in and she became extremely dehydrated. We didn't know I wasn't making enough since they say all you need are a few drops but thankfully I read this book (can't recommend it enough for new mamas to be) and knew to check the inside of her cheek and lip to see if it was tacky since she was showing all the other normal signs (diapers were still flowing which is normally how you can tell). It was VERY tacky so I made the quick decision to mix up some formula we happened to have in the house that was sent to us as a sample. Her newborn wellness check was the next day and my doctor said we definitely made the right call. She had dropped a little too much weight (all babies lose some at first) and we then needed to give her an ounce of food every hour for 24 hours following the appointment. While we were waiting for my milk to fully come in we mixed 50/50 breastmilk to formula, then as the volume increased 25/75, then 20/80 and so on until I was comfortable giving 100% breastmilk. I noticed that when I wasn't worried about making enough milk for the next feed it flowed MUCH easier.

4. Eat lots of healthy fats! This one is less about supply and more about volume quality. My Dr. let me know that my milk was a bit too lean (kinda like skim milk) unless there is a thick layer of fat on the to when it begins to separate. I incorporated full fat yogurt in the morning and nuts & cheeses for snacks throughout the day. Also put avocado toast on the morning menu when possible (my husband makes a great one with feta).

5. Stay hydrated AF. This one is pretty much a "duh" tip but I wanted to include it because it's so important. I try to drink 8oz of water after every pump session and 8 more in-between. I also load up on coconut water whenever I can to get those natural electrolytes.

6. These lactation cookies! They taste pretty much like oatmeal chocolate chip. I did need to hit whole foods for some of the more obscure ingredients but feel that it was well worth it. I have been able to make like 200 of these guys and still have plenty ingredients to make more. I have a couple for dessert at night and wake up and pump 10-13oz which is a LOT of milk!

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