Apr 15

Macks: Two Months

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Another month has flown by. Macks is two months old and is growing so much every single day. He has far surpassed his big sisters in both weight and height. He is in the 75th percentile for everything (the girls have never surpassed 25th.) With his constant growth, it means that he is outgrowing his clothes faster than I could have ever imagined (he’s now wearing 3-6 months.) Some of my favorite outfits I bought for him are now too small. If you see me upload a picture of him with something very tight, it’s because I tried to squeeze him in it just one last time.

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Macks had his first smile this month and he hasn’t stopped since! I am desperately trying to document every single moment and milestone that he makes because it all goes by too quickly, and with two other little ones at home, it’s hard to savor his special moments. These milestone baby cards  make it super easy (and great for me to remember later on.) Of course Macks couldn’t show us his smile for the photo, but I promise it’s the cutest!

We also heard him laugh. On Saturday morning, all five of us were laying in our bed (it’s become somewhat of a tradition for all of us to cuddle in bed together on Saturday mornings) and Macks was laying by MacKay. We had music playing and MacKay started singing to Macks. He showed off a huge smile and then started laughing. Of course I started crying happy tears and wanted to freeze that moment in time. It was one of the sweetest moments.

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I wake up every morning with an unexplainable amount of happiness. Macks has provided so much joy for every single member of this family. I already see the relationships he’s forming with the girls. They bring out his biggest smile and he loves to sit and “talk” to them. He brings so much love.

I can’t wait to see what month three brings!

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Apr 14

Traveling with Little Ones: 9 Tips That Will Help

I remember the first time I took Harlan on a plane by myself. She was only about eight weeks old and we were flying to visit MacKay in Manhattan. I was not only a new, inexperienced mother, but had never traveled with a baby before. In a nutshell, I was terrified.

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Now nearly five years (and three kids) later, I’ve traveled several times with the kids, both on planes and in the car. Most of the trips are by myself with the kids. Thankfully with each trip, I’ve gotten more comfortable and so have the kids.

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While I don’t consider myself to be an expert, there are definitely things that I’ve noticed that make the trip go a lot more smoothly, no matter how old your kids are.

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Here are some of the things that have helped me when traveling with little ones:

1. Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t wait until the last minute for anything. Try to pack a couple of days before your trip so that you aren’t rushing the day that you leave. If you are traveling by airplane, try to leave your house a couple of hours early so that you give yourself time in the airport. While TSA doesn’t require your little ones to take off their shoes, all of the “stuff” that comes with having kids does take a while to get through security. Some airports will allow you to go to the front of the line because they see you are traveling with small children, but other airports will make you wait with everyone else.

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2. Wear your baby. When traveling through an airport, chances are you have your hands full, not only with kids, but also with your luggage. If you have a baby or toddler, it’s very easy to wear them in a baby carrier so that you still leave both of your hands free to get you through the airport and even when boarding the plane.

3. Don’t overpack. I know it’s hard to resist packing all of those “just in case” items for your children, but know that you have to carry all of those extras with you. Pack just enough diapers and wipes to get you through the flight. If your children are okay with snacks from the plane, then rely on that. Bring only what you need for the duration of the flight and put the rest in your checked luggage.

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4. Bring a stroller. I never go to the airport without my stroller. A couple of weeks ago when I traveled with all three kids for the first time I had all three kids on the stroller for a little bit and was easily able to run from one gate to another when our gates were switched at the last minute. When I was wearing Macks and he wasn’t in the stroller, I used his seat to help me carry some of my carry-on bags.

5. Bring entertainment. I always stock up on new little toys that the girls can play with on the plane. They really love stickers, so I’ll go and buy a bunch of cheap stickers so that they can play with them. New coloring books and crayons always help keep them busy and they are a great place for them to stick the stickers as well. I also check out the dollar bins at Target for random things that I know I can give them while on the plane. I keep a basket in our apartment of my dollar finds and then pack a couple for when we travel. They love receiving new items and it helps keep them occupied just a little bit longer. The iPad and iPhone are always guaranteed to keep them busy and I’ll bring those out as a last resort.

6. Travel during nap time. No matter if you are traveling by car, train, or plane, book the trip during your little one’s nap time. I like traveling at night and having the girls in their pajamas before we go to the airport. Once we get up in the air and the lights are turned off and it’s dark on the airplane, they quickly fall fast asleep and I am able to relax a little bit.

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7. Ask for help. Traveling alone with kids can give you anxiety and is a bit intimidating. Make sure to always ask for help if you need it. I always have the headrest time at the security check point, but I’ve asked the people in line and TSA to help me go through and no one has ever told me no. Some airports are also willing to give a gate pass to an adult that you are not traveling with to help you get through. My dad did that when I was flying alone with the girls from Tampa. He had to give ID and go through security but was able to help me until my plane took off. It also doesn’t hurt to ask the gate agents if there are extra seats on the plane for your lap infant. I’ve been able to take the baby on with me with their car seat and have them sit in an available seat next to me. It doesn’t happen every time, but I always ask anyway.

8.  Nurse or bottle feed during take off and landing. If you are flying with a baby, try to feed them on take-off and landing. This helps equalize the pressure in their ears. Try not to make the mistake of feeding right as you get on the plane because as we all know, you could be taxiing forever and by the time you actually take-off, the baby isn’t hungry any longer.

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9. Relax. Traveling with kids is stressful, no matter what the age or how many kids you have. Everything will go more smoothly if you are relaxed along the way. Don’t expect everything to go perfectly, because it won’t. But be positive about the trip and both you and your little ones will do great!

What tips do you have for traveling with little ones?

 

{Disclosure: I am working with Playtex as a proud member of the Playtex Baby Mom Trust program, a virtual network where moms can find common ground and support each other through sharing stories, tips, product reviews, insights and unique experiences of motherhood. As always, all opinions are my own.} 

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Apr 9

10 Things to Consider When Shopping For Your Nursing Wardrobe

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I am lucky that Macks and I have had a great nursing relationship thus far. He latched on right away and my supply is enough to keep him content (because the boy does love to eat!) While nursing is one less thing I have to worry about post-baby, my wardrobe is not. I’m not down to my pre-baby weight yet (not even close) and I can’t wear half the things in my closet because of it. With the weather finally getting a little bit warmer, the clothes that I can fit into is dresses, however every single one of the dresses that I own is not nursing friendly. I have a few nursing tops that I love, but I can’t wear them every single day. I’ve been searching the internet for a stylish nursing friendly wardrobe when I found Morgan, the founder of BURU, on Instagram.

Morgan Hutchinson is a stylish nursing mom that founded BURU after having the same issue I am having, not enough stylish clothes for the nursing mama. Thankfully BURU is a site dedicated to finding stylish clothes for nursing moms. All of the clothes on her site are hand-picked by Morgan herself. Morgan gives us her tips for finding a stylish wardrobe that can accommodate nursing. 

The act of nursing (the over supply, the under supply, the chaffed nips…) is difficult enough. The last thing a mom needs is to stress over what to wear. At least not any more than she does getting dressed under normal circumstances.

Here is my Top 10 List of things to consider when shopping for a wardrobe to Nurse in Style:

1.  Don’t Wait

During your pregnancy is a great time to start thinking about clothes that will work after the baby arrives. Even if you can’t nurse or decide it is not for you, there is no harm in having pieces of your maternity wardrobe that will also work for nursing. A great example is the Rachel Pally Caftan dress. It accommodates your bump, looks fab after pregnancy, and it offers easy access to nurse.

2.  Start with a Great Foundation

If and when (most likely when) your bust line begins to grow during your pregnancy, invest in a nursing bra, rather than buying a regular bra in a larger cup size. I made the mistake of buying bras that did not allow for easy nursing and then they were too big to wear after I stopped. Money wasted. With all of the cute (and sexy) options available in the nursing bra arena, I suggest buying one (or three) sooner rather than later.

3.  Easy Access

Until my second week of nursing, I really didn’t think about the need for easy access. I was still wearing loungewear for the most part, staying home, and if I was wearing a top without access to nurse, then I just took it off. This method doesn’t work in the outside world. By week three, I understood the importance of accessing my boobs.

Be sure to thinking about the tops and dresses you purchase. My favorite access is the zipper (the tasteful zipper I should write) as it can be done one-handed. Second to that is the snap front. Of course old faithfuls like the button-down or wrap dress are great too. Just be sure to consider how much access you will need. Some tops are better for pumping (2 boobs at once) than for actually nursing your baby when only one boob is needed at a time.

4.  Select Fabrics Wisely

It is particularly important in the first few months of nursing to consider fabric choices – i.e. buy as many washable tops and dresses as you can. As the spit-up frequency subsides, you can be less choosy. Also, if you are going back to work and pumping will be your main gig, more delicate fabrics like silk can make their way back into your everyday life.

5.  Treat Yourself

It is said that if you look good, then you feel good. Of course this is not always the case, but feeling clean (a mommy luxury) and dressed in something chic can definitely inflate your mood. Don’t forget to buy yourself a few (or more than a few if the budget allows) special pieces for this phase of life. Truth be told, investing in garments that you really love will save you money in the long run because you will still be excited to wear them long after nursing is over.

6.  Consider Your Shrinkage

Getting the baby weight off is always a bit of a challenge, but when it happens you are going to want the items you purchased in the interim to fit. Consider the advantage of a wrap dress (it can be tied tighter) or a blazer (maybe you wear it open at first). We try to consider items that can easily be altered like shirtdresses with simple side seams that can be taken in for little cost by a local tailor. Chic elastic waist pants are a great option as well.

7.  Grab the Basic 5

These 5 items will get you through the wardrobe slump:
• White Button-Down Shirt
• Black Leggings
• A Classic Trench Coat
• LBND (Little Black Nursing Dress)
• Tailored Blazer in (Black, Navy, or Ivory)

8.  Nursing Tanks

As your tummy gets (semi) back into place, you might want a little extra coverage under loose tops or added cleavage coverage for your plump bosom. A regular camisole might make for tough access to nurse or pump. Special clips or a super stretchy neckline are key elements to a workable nursing tank.

9.  Care for Your Clothes

The days of dry cleaning everything you own might be a thing of the past. First of all, it’s inconvenient to drop it off, let alone remember to pick it up. Secondly, it gets expensive when you can only wear an item once before it’s covered in spit- up. Thankfully, The Laundress has created a variety of delicate washes that allow you to care for many items that instruct you to “Dry Clean Only”. Be sure to invest in a detergent that is safe for baby and allows you to care for your clothes properly in the comfort of you own home.

10.  Undercover Mama

Many mamas are comfortable letting it all hang out, but if you are on the more modest side of the nursing in public line – then a chic nursing cover is a must. There is NO need to sport an awkward looking version of an apron or a hula- hoop contraption around your neck, when a simple (and beautiful) scarf and broach will do the trick. Better yet, try the Rachel Pally Rollo Wrap top or the Mother’s en Vogue Waterfall Wrap. They give you the coverage you need in a chic and stylish way.

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Apr 3

The Juggle

I’ve teamed up with Bravado Designs to share some of my Little Victories throughout my daily juggle.Pin It

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Mar 28

Garment for Good

J.Crew’s recent collaboration for Garments for Good is a cause to help save the elephants and rhinos in East Africa.Pin It

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Mar 24

Organized Chaos

Sharing my tips on how we keep our messy life just a little bit less messy. Tips to stay organized as a mother.Pin It

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