Saturday, January 27, 2018

Something Saturdays (1/27/18)

I'm gonna dive right in.

I could never have predicted HOW WELL James did at his baptism last week, you guys! He was freaking out and super unpleasant before we left-to the point that we were running behind. Then, in the car, he fell asleep right before we got to the church and he slept THE ENTIRE TIME. He slept through being passed around and having water poured over his head (which was warm so it probably just felt like bath time) and then for pictures he actually woke up but just laid there drowsily before falling back asleep once he was in his car seat (which was good because it was still nap time). Then he slept at his party while people kept holding him until it was time to wake up and have a bottle. Then he, once again, slept some more. Like a complete angel. I was so worried he'd be freaking out with so many people (really only like 8 people but he's never been around that many at once before) but he was so so so good. And the ceremony was beautiful, Michael teared up a bunch which is always the sweetest thing. And watching his sister and my brother as the proud godparents was so precious. Speaking of my brother, seeing him with his little nephew was the best thing and it broke my heart when he had to leave (he said goodbye to me when I was in the middle of putting James down for a nap and I may have had to switch to humming instead of singing because I was crying). 
Other than that, this week has been pretty routine. Michael did take Wednesday off from work because I had my 6 week postpartum doctor's appointment so he stayed home with James. Everything was good so yay! My cousin Emily (who currently lives in NY but is moving to Boston for her post-doc fellowship in a couple weeks) also came to visit and meet the little guy earlier in the day. And Thursday Michael's dad and step mom brought us a delicious dinner as an excuse to see their grandson, of course lol. And yesterday his mom and sister came for their dose of James. 

Ooh! And in acting news, the commercials and print advertisements I shot back in November are up now. Here's one of the commercials I was in: 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Baby Must-Haves (1 Month)

I'm like a month and a half into this mommy thing and, while I was pregnant, I researched so many things and read so many must-have lists for babies/kids. Some of the things ended up being more useful than others (FYI I found those padsicles things for postpartum next to worthless) and I figured I'd share with you the things that I've been happiest with so far: MY must haves!! 
(Also, while you're reading through, any links to products are through Amazon and I get a small commission if you then buy something). 
Baby Must-Haves (1 Month)

1. HALO SleepSack
We were lucky enough to get a free sleepsack from the hospital but I quickly ordered 2 more after James had wet through/spit up on it enough. These are essentially a safer, easier, swaddle. It's a little sack that zips up and then there are 2 velcro flaps that you use to wrap around the baby and swaddle them (the velcro decreases the risk of them getting free and smothering him, so decreasing the risk of SIDS). It is a LIFE SAVER. Seriously, it's the only way James will sleep if he's not being held. I initially tried to keep it a nighttime thing but then, after weeks of him refusing to stay asleep when he was put down during naps, I just started always putting him in it for sleep and it's amazing. I honestly dread the day we have to transition him out of it.

2. Earth Mama Natural Nipple Butter
This was more of a must-have when James was brand new but I still love it and use it frequently. It's an all natural nipple butter but I've also used it on mine and James' dry lips and some dry patches of James' skin too. It always works amazing and feels so good.

3. Sleepers
Look-I had a baby in the winter so warm, cozy, sleepers are what he wears 99.9% of the time ((almost all of our sleepers are Carter's brand)! They're so simple to put on and so comfy for baby. I honestly hate putting him in like...real baby clothes because I'm spoiled by the sleepers.

4. Chicco Fit2 2-Year Rear-Facing Infant & Toddler Car Seat
I did SO MUCH research on car seats and the Chicco Fit2 came out as the perfect cross-section of highly recommended, safe, and price (quality but not obscenely expensive). Another thing I love about it is that your baby can fit in it from birth until they're 2 years old or 35 lbs (less clutter=a happy Kayle). Michael was super impressed by it the first time he checked it out and we've just been really happy with it--and, bonus, it snaps into the base SO EASILY.

5. BravoFor2 2-Passenger Double Stroller
This stroller goes with the car seat and, again, a huge perk is that I'll be able to use it for, like, ever. You can snap the Fit2 car seat directly into this stroller, which is great, AND there is a little seat and a little area to stand in the back so that when we have another baby James can sit or stand back there while the new baby sits in the front! Also, it folds up and reopens super easy. Because it's been cold and snowy we haven't gotten a chance to use the stroller yet but we totally love it and can't wait to!

6. JJ Cole Car Seat Cover
Again-it's cold. And babies shouldn't have blankets or heavy coats so the way we keep him warm and protected from the chilly air is with this awesome car seat cover. It was snowing the day we brought James home from the hospital and has been nothing but cold since we it's worked out great for us.

7. Cloth Diapers
I'm cloth diapering and LOVE IT. First of all-these aren't our mom's or grandma's cloth diapers, these days they're just as easy to put on as disposable (they have snaps or, sometimes, velcro). I'm not going to get to into it, feel free to do your research if you're interested (I highly recommend visiting Fluff Love University) but I have had an amazing experience. When James' circumcision was healing we used disposables and he wet through SO MANY OUTFITS. We have had a handful of leaks in the entire month since we started using cloth AND they contain blow-outs. Not to mention the cost savings--the one thing that's harder is I have to do a small load of diaper laundry every other day but it's super simple to do (breastmilk poops are water soluble so the dirty diapers just get thrown right into the wash). But, seriously, I love them. One of my favorite brands/types of cloth diapers I've been using (and the easiest) are the Bumgenius Freetime Cloth Diapers. I honestly never thought I'd do cloth diapers but now that I am I want to sing from the mountaintops how awesome they are!

8. Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator
This is SO MUCH better than that little blue bulb that you usually use to suck out babies boogers. It seems gross because you essentially are using your suction to suck the boogers out BUT there's a filter, nothing gross gets to your mouth (and, in my experience, the booger doesn't even usually make it to the filter). Plus the aspirator is clear so you can actually see what you're getting out of that little nose. Michael was insanely skeptical but even he will admit it works well.

9. Stork Craft Tuscany Custom Glider and Ottoman with Lumbar Pillow
This is a super reasonably priced rocker but it is super duper comfortable, we have the white and blue one in the nursery and everyone who has sat in it doesn't want to get up!

10. Boppy Pillow and Nursing Positioner 
This might be the item on this list that gets the most use. The boppy pillow makes it so so much easier to nurse James and, it's actually hilarious, as soon as he's laid on it he knows it's feeding time! I have my boppy with the gray (organic) elephant slipcover-which is so cute-and I absolutely hate having to breastfeed without it (so I pretty much never do). So yeah, definitely a must-have (even with bottle feeding it makes it more comfortable to hold him!)

11. Fisher-Price Shiloh Diaper Bag Backpack
A cousin actually gave me this bag, I didn't register for it, but it's amazing and I get so many compliments! There are an awesome number of compartments (including one specifically for wipes and an insulated one for bottles) AND it's so so so cute.

12. Mommy's Bliss Gas Relief Drops
Babies can have trouble passing gas when they're small and James has occasionally had some issues where it's gotten really painful for him. The gas relief drops have been a godsend-they help cause the gas bubbles to pop, essentially, and the Mommy's Bliss brand is natural so I feel ok about giving them to my little baby!

13. Summer Infant SURE SIGHT 2.0 Digital Color Video Baby Monitor
Again, I did a bunch of research, and this is the baby monitor we ended up going with. I like the video capabilities (and that other people can't intercept the signal) and it's one of the more reasonably priced, quality, video monitors. We use it all the time to check on James during his naps and makes us feel better when we let him cry for a little bit before checking on him (I promise we don't let him cry for long, just long enough to give him the opportunity to put himself back to sleep, which he oftentimes does!)

14. Fisher-Price Activity Gym
These are a classic in the baby world and there's a reason! James just started getting into it a few weeks ago and he totally loves it now! He has so much fun as he hits all the things overtop of him, and he tolerates tummy time on it, lol. As he gets older and works towards crawling it will be amazing to have, too. It's just a great baby toy/entertainment center.

15. California Baby Bath/Body Products
We use the California Baby Super Sensitive Shampoo and Body Wash, Fragrance Free and California Baby Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion - Fragrance Free for James' bath times and they smell awesome and I don't feel any guilt about using them on him (hooray for no random chemicals on my tiny new baby!)

16. 4Moms Infant Tub
Speaking of bath time, this is the tub we use. The things that set it apart are the fact that it has a temperature monitor, so we're sure it's not too hot or too cold, and theres a clean water compartment + the section he sits in, which has a drain that allows the dirty water to drain out while clean water continuously flows in. We are really liking it so far and James does too!

Everyone is different, and my must-haves may not be yours, but these are the things that, at this point, I adore and feel like I can't live without!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Something Saturdays (1/20/18)

It was so hard to let Michael go back to work on Tuesday after a nice 5 day weekend! But, this week was pretty great too-still just figuring out life day by day with our little guy. AND on Thursday my little brother (who is in the airforce and stationed in Hawaii) came into town! He got to meet his nephew and today he'll stand up as his godfather at his baptism (Michael's sister is James' godmother). It warms my heart like you wouldn't believe to see how much my brother loves my baby. So, today should be a fun day! It'll be a small baptism but I know it'll be beautiful, still.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

James-1 Month!

I cannot believe my baby is already a whole month old-it felt like the time flew by, but at the same time like this has always been our life. It's so crazy and amazing to watch him change before our eyes and I love him more with each little bit of him I get to learn and discover!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Something Saturdays (1/13/18)

This week was more of just settling into our new normal--Michael was back at work all day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday BUT then he took Thursday and Friday off so we're enjoying having him home with us :) I still haven't felt comfortable enough to legitimately cook anything but I feel like it'll be soon? I feel like such a wuss but like everything seems so daunting to me now. Having a baby is hard work, shout out to all you moms who actually do stuff with a baby. 

James had his 1 month checkup on Thursday and it went well except poor little guy got his 2nd dose of the Hep B vaccine and his face turned beet red. It killed me to watch my baby in pain--plus he was missing a nap--so luckily as soon as I held him he pretty much conked right out. Next month's checkup is not going to be easy (there will be lots of vaccines at that one). 

And....yeah! It's all pretty boring and baby-centric around here these days. What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

James' Birth Story

James is 1 month old today! So, I figured it's time I share his birth story.

Ok-this post is going to probably contain some TMI and gross stuff because...childbirth. It's also kind of long because, quite frankly, it was a kind of long process. Totally understand if this isn't your thing and you choose to just ignore this and check back in a different day when I'm sharing some delicious recipe and not regaling you with the tales of how I expelled my son from my body.

Those of you who are still here-hiya! Ok, so, as everyone says: my labor and childbirth did NOT go as I planned. It was also, apparently, pretty rough. What's weird, though, is that it still didn't feel as bad as I thought it was hyped to be. It was all stuff I was able to get through. And, even though my plans didn't really work out, I am still so glad I had my plan and was educated because my ability to advocate for myself helped, I think. That said--I was also so dead-set that I think I struggled more emotionally than I needed to. Moral of the story: next time will probably be better/easier now that I know what to expect. And, even though labor is hard, it was ridiculously worth it.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Something Saturdays (1/6/18)

Michael went back to work this week-sort of. He worked full days Tuesday and Wednesday, a half day Thursday, and took yesterday off. Next week he'll work Monday-Wednesday and then take Thursday and Friday off and then, after the holiday on Monday, he'll be pretty much fully back. It's been so nice having him home so we definitely miss him. And he super hates being back, lol.  BUT the good news is-he graduated with his master's degree (his graduation date was actually James' due date. He missed his last class because it was the day after James was born lol.) SO-life shouldn't be as crazy for him now that he's done with school.

We also started sleep training this week (using Babywise if anyone was curious). It's going pretty darn well! Some naps and nights are better than others and it's definitely not perfect but, considering the kid is going to be 4 weeks old tomorrow, I'm actually super impressed with how well it's going. I do miss all my baby snuggles though :( Having him nap in his crib makes it easier to do things but I miss our  cuddle time. Once he has more awake time, though, I'll get to spend more time with him. Plus, once the routine is set up an occasional nap in mommy's arms won't be a big deal lol.

But yeah, I feel like we're starting to get our heads above water and James is pretty much the cutest thing that has ever existed and he gets cuter every single day! AH!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
Yepp, my spoiled husband got me to make him more ice cream. And, once again, it's dairy free (and, incidentally, vegan) so that he can eat more of it without worrying about his tummy. AND for all of you peoples with the New Year's resolutions--this is probably right up your alley!
Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
This recipe made me extra happy because it's like healthy ice cream (actually, to be exact, it's sort of like a cross between an ice cream and a sorbet, texture-wise. Not quite as creamy as ice cream, but not quite as icy as sorbet.) It's legit just like strawberries, a liquid sweetener (such as agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, etc.), coconut cream, and non-dairy milk. It's pretty awesome. And Michael looooved it.
Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
I will admit, part of what Michael loved is that I topped the ice cream with homemade magic it was like a chocolate covered strawberry situation. Still, though. Healthy. He's happy. I'm happy. The only reason we're not happy right now is we finally ran out of it (and this recipe makes a good amount, so it took us awhile) and now he's all ice cream-less and I'm stuck with debating if I'm going to make him more or buy him some or make him just live without ice cream because gosh there's a baby coming and I've got bigger fish to fry than ice cream!

But...I mean...I'll probably just make some more of this because it's awesome. (AND unlike some other dairy-free/vegan ice creams it actually scoops pretty easily straight out of the freezer! WOO!)

Monday, January 1, 2018

Something Saturdays-on a Monday (1/1/18)


I forgot to post this on Saturday because...of course I did.

Another week of crazy life with a newborn--but it included his first Christmas!!! It was a pretty chill day since we can't really take him out yet, so we just hung at home and received lots of visitors (a trend which continued throughout the week). James also had his 2 week pediatrician's appointment and we found out that he now weighs 8 lbs and 8.7 oz! (For reference he was 7 lbs 11 oz at birth and was 6 lbs 15.5 oz at his appointment when he was 4 days old). He loves to eat so...yeah lol.

Last night we just had a normal calm evening with the 3 of us and {tried} to go to bed early. 

And that's pretty much all I have going on-how's your holiday season going?

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