dressing the…bumps.

By Jenna.

If you’re anything like me than those first few weeks (okay let’s be honest more like months) after a baby are terribly difficult to get dressed. Nothing fits from your pre-pregnant life or if it does it’s in that cased sausage sort of way. Additionally, you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to wear the five maternity things that fit towards the end and suddenly my chest (okay, jugs) are so enormous you can see them from Jupiter. I also need something that covers my new shape and yet gives easiest access to aforementioned chest. [insert deer in head light emoji’s here.] Basically I’m looking to dream the impossible dream in ways of wardrobe. But all is not lost! I’ve rounded up for you my favorites that I’ve got on rotation that achieve all my wildest aspirations! But don’t stop listening if you’re neither postpartum or nursing, these selections are good for one and all! Meet my friends the tunic and the shirt dress.

nursing

I’m not a fashion blogger so these low quality selfies will have to do!

1. This shirt funny enough is neither a tunic or shirt dress but does fit the bill. It hangs in all the right places, is SO SOFT, can be pulled down easily for nursing & covers my new healthy sized…let’s call it backside. It comes in a bunch of different colors of which I now have purchased 4. It’s the absolute best, if you’re nursing or not.

2. This dresssssss. Guys it’s incredible. This picture nor me do it justice. It’s SO pretty and feels so flattering.

3.  This tunic I’ve been in love with for lots of reasons but the most important being is it still allows me to wear my beloved leggings. YOU CAN’T TELL ME THEY AREN’T PANTS BECAUSE I WON’T LISTEN.

4. I promise you I was the first to buy this dress. It’s now circled the blogsphere but for good reason. It is absolutely perfect in EVERY way. It is truly made for any size and it’s like the sisterhood of the magical dress, it looks good on everyone.

That’s just a sampling of the kind of thing I’ve been looking for and maybe you have too! So I saved  you the time, energy and in my case fitting room disgrace and have rounded up the best of the best below! Enjoy.

 

heart awareness month

For Valentine’s Day and also Heart Awareness Month we are grateful to have Kierra, mom to Evanna sharing their story with CHD. Congenital heart defects are the #1 birth defect, with nearly one of every 100 babies born with a congenital heart defect – ranging from a small hole, to extremely complex. Congenital heart defects are the #1 cause of birth defect related deaths, and the leading cause of all infant deaths in North America.

More than 50% of all children born with congenital heart defect will require at least one invasive surgery in their lifetime. Little is known about the cause of most of them, and there is no known prevention or cure for any of them. In the United States, twice as many children die from congenital heart defects each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD.
(American Heart Association)

IMG_5759 Our heart journey started with a simple routine ultrasound. In November 2013 at 19 weeks pregnant, we had an appointment for a regular detailed ultrasound, but all I could think about the fact that we were about to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. I had made plans for a gender reveal party for later that evening, and was giddy with excitement to find out what we were having. I was surprised at how long the appointment took, and looking back, I definitely felt like the ultrasound technician took forever, especially on the baby’s heart. We were brought into a private room, and told to wait for the radiologist that would be with us shortly. I assumed that he would just come in and tell us that everything a-okay, and send us on our merry way with gender results in hand. The radiologist walked in and stated that there was a problem with the babies heart, and that we needed to come back the very next week for fetal echocardiogram done by a pediatric cardiologist. My husband and I were in shock. We were two healthy individuals with no medical issues, and had no trouble conceiving.
We left the office without saying anything to each other as we each digested the news. We cancelled the gender party, and once we were ready, we opened the envelope to reveal that we were having a baby GIRL.
The following week, it was confirmed at the fetal echocardiogram, that our baby would be born with Pulmonary Atresia with a VSD.Processed with VSCOcam with s1 preset

My pregnancy continued without any further complications, and weekly ultrasounds and obstetrician appointments became my new normal. As the pregnancy progressed, they started to suspects few other things with the heart, but we would have to wait until she was born before we would have a concrete diagnosis.

At 36 weeks pregnant I relocated to Edmonton, Alberta and moved into the Ronald McDonald House. Though we were from Calgary, home to it’s own children’s hospital – only two hospitals in Canada could deal with the complexity of our baby’s heart, and pediatric cardiology was not something that our local children’s hospital could deal with.
After being induced at 39 weeks, Evanna Verena Irvine was born via emergency c-section on April 29, 2014. She was taken by ambulance to the Stollery Children’s Hospital with my husband following, while I stayed behind, healing from my own surgery. The few days following Evanna’s birth were a bit a of a blur. They did a CT and ECHO on Evanna, and confirmed their suspicions that Evanna’s heart was much more complicated then initially thought. She was officially diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, with Pulmonary Atresia, VSD, ASD and MAPCAs. Due to the MAPCAs, we were told surgery would have to be put on hold, and if they didn’t grow, Evanna would be considered terminal. Her heart is so complex, that it’s actually intertwined with her lungs, making it impossible for even a transplant to be an option.IMG_2092

Originally, I had prepared myself for a surgery to be done within the first few weeks of Evanna’s life, followed by a couple of months in the hospital before we got to bring her home. Now we were being flown back to Calgary, were we spent just one week in the NICU and discharged home.
We spent 5 amazing months at home where Evanna grew, thrived and did extremely well. We also confirmed that a mircodeletion on her 22 chromosome called 22q11 (also known as DiGeorge Syndrome) is what caused her heart defect, among a few other minor issues. Considering her very complex heart and DiGeorge Syndrome (it’s the second most common chromosomal defect next to Down Syndrome), our medical team was constantly amazed at Evanna’s progress and growth.

On October 6, 2014 we handed Evanna over into the surgical teams arms, as she underwent her first Open Heart Surgery. The surgery went well, but since then we’ve experienced a few bumps on our journey home. Our 2-3 weeks in hospital has now turned into over 4 months in the PCICU, 1 code blue, 4 additional surgeries – including a 2nd open heart surgery, 2 ICU transfers, multiple blood transfusions, drug addiction, and 6 failed extubations – as we’ve had major issues taking the breathing tube out. Evanna has developed Tracheomalacia (weakened trachea), and so she requires extra pressurized air to keep her airway and lungs open, and has had to be supported by a ventilator for over 4 months. While we’ve come a long way, and her trachea has slowly gotten a little bit stronger, her body and lungs have become incredibly weak from being bed ridden and intubated for such a long time.

IMG_20150113_153043It has been an incredibly long year for our little family, and this chapter in our lives is far from over. We still don’t have an idea of when we’ll be able to bring Evanna home, and whether or not she’ll need a tracheostomy for a period of time. Evanna faces many more surgeries later on in her life, and our lives have been forever changed because of this diagnosis. She’s a true fighter, and continues to amaze us with her strength considering everything she has gone through in just the first year of her life. It’s been a difficult journey, and being in a different city, away from our closest family, friends and supports hasn’t been very easy, and would put any marriage to the test – but one thing I’ve learned, is that “we can do hard things”.

- Kierra (Evanna’s Mom)

Follow their blog and Instagram for more updates on tiny Evanna!

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PO.P Art

We’re always excited when brands take a special interest in exciting imagery and design that boys (and girls) will love!  We just wanted to share Polarn O. Pyret’s new PO.P Art line of limited edition posters and t-shirts, which are all so vibrant and modern and right up Small Fry’s alley.

PO.P Art

 

Here’s how we’ve stuck them into our decor:

PO.P Art

The style has that fine art quality, you can see the brush strokes and splatters and it all feels very youthful but still clean.

PO.P Art

 

Even in three very different homes the poster pops!

PO.P Art

 

Enter to win a $200 by submitting your child’s art with the #popartkidsusa hash tag! Find all the details here.

Have a great Valentine’s Day weekend, everyone!

yoobi [giveaway!]

This post is brought to you by Yoobi.

As we mentioned yesterday, we have an awesome giveaway today both here on the blog and on our Instagram with Small Fry favorite, Yoobi! Yoobi has swept us away this year with their vibrant, youthful, high quality arts and crafts supplies. They have ignited excitement back into even the most simple creative moments with our kids. Yoobi GiveawayOn top of their amazing products, for every Yoobi purchase made at Target or Yoobi.com, they donate an item to a classroom in need right here in the U.S.! Yoobi aims to impact more than 30,000 K-3rd grade classrooms nationwide by the end of the school year, changing the lives of over 750,000 kids and that is a goal we can definitely get behind!  We used their craft bundles for our Valentine’s Breakfast decorating that awesome Caravan Shoppe table cloth and we’ll be giving away all these awesome Yoobi supplies, so keep reading to enter!Yoobi Giveaway

Yoobi is giving away your choice of either the Kids Bundle or the Grown Ups Bundle of supplies, these sets are full of awesome products to get a jump start on any creative projects! The Kids Bundle has their awesome triangular crayons (those babies aren’t rolling anywhere!), mini highlighters, washable markers, a paint kit, stencils and stickers kit filled with stickers to create your own funny faces.

Craft_Bundle_1024x1024_98c696c0-7448-4294-9384-cc2c2fd3ba23_1024x1024Yoobi Giveaway

The Grown Ups Bundle includes Yoobi’s awesome gel pens, striped colored pencils (our fave!), layer markers, retractable highlighters and the mini-back pack pencil pouch.

SNYCw_vCdWGUZR26sUQ3w0yfUnGukPiVqjEFRUc6qW4_1024x1024As you can see Yoobi pays close attention to the look and feel of all their products. They make beautiful, happy items, and as parents who will usually pick aesthetic over just about anything, we love that we’re not only getting the prettiest pick of the supply aisle but also the most well made, and charitable too! We really can’t say enough good things about them.Yoobi Giveaway

Catch up with Yoobi on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and enter to win below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Valentine’s Day Breakfast

We whipped up this special love day breakfast, which is pretty simple for one festive pay-out, so if you’re looking for a way to make this Saturday morning extra special we’ve got you covered! First we started with Caravan Shoppe‘s darling line-up of digital downloads for Valentine’s Day: their back drop and  table topper are so pretty and the kids can color right on both!

Valentine's BreakfastA bundle of tulips, plump raspberries and sliced strawberries with whipped cream on our favorite Kodiak Cakes pancakes.Valentine's BreakfastValentine's BreakfastNext coat glass milk bottles (we use these – over and over again!) with a little icing and dunk in a plate of sprinkles and top with a cute straw or two.Valentine's BreakfastAnd because it’s only Valentine’s once a year, powdered donuts sprinkled with this Wilton set.Valentine's Breakfast Valentine's BreakfastAnd to top off your stack of pancakes, a little pipe cleaner heart! All you need is a skewer and a red pipe cleaner. Start with the middle of the pipe cleaner and form your heart. Then take the two remaining tails and wrap them down and around the skewer to keep it in place. Easy enough!Valentine's Breakfast

Need more Love Day food? Check out our Love Day Lunch (with printable lunch sacks!), and this gorgeous heart shaped pita and hummus!Love Day Food