Lolly’s Nursery

*If you like this space, head to this giveaway to win the rocker, crib and $2500 worth of goods to Bling Your Nursery!*

By Jenna.

We just moved to California in November so I wasn’t planning on doing much of a nursery for Lolly but nesting got in the way and it became the most important room in our house to complete! Since it had been almost six and a half years since I had bought anything for a baby (we didn’t buy much for our second boy poor thing ;)) I took the opportunity to make a really clean and simple room that reflected the design style I’ve acquired over the years. I love everything about how this room turned out and I’m so excited to share it with you today!nusery5(Above image courtesy of Rachel Clare Photography)

I’ve loved the Nursery Works Sleepytime rocker. This Grey/Ash color is an exclusive to Giggle and is gorgeous. I was surprised when it came at how comfortable it was. I wanted a really minimal design and not the traditional overstuffed rocker so I figured comfort would be compromised but it isn’t. I spend A LOT of time in this chair feeding miss Lolly and I love it. I bought this pouf from West Elm and it’s a perfect foot stool. It’s since sold out, but you can find similar here and here.

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This ‘Head in the Clouds’ pillow is also a fantastic Land of Nod item. I love ALL their whimsical pillows that add such a unique quality to a room.The small (faux) fur rug was a Home Goods purchase, but I found similar here and here.

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I wanted a space that was feminine but not plastered in bubble gum pink. Finding pieces in that perfect blush pink color was crucial and so when I came across this rug I was so thrilled. It came and is the perfect pink and also surprisingly cozy. Also after scouring every rug shop online I was super impressed with the price. $200 for such a well made 8 x 10 rug is a fantastic price and I can tell it will last us a long time. That darling elephant chair in the background is from Laura Davidson Direct. She has a ton of incredible kid’s size (and adult) chairs that I’m obsessed with.

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You’re going to think I’m insane but I’ve loved few things as much as this Oeuf Merlin Dresser. Obviously it’s a gorgeous design but the drawers are some kind of magic. They slow down as you close them so no tiny fingers get pinched and it closes in one fluid quiet motion! When you have 3 chaotic kids – it’s the little things, guys. Would totally recommend this dresser all day. Also, Giggle.com has this white glove shipping guarantee and the shipping guys brought this heavy sucker all the way up my stairs for which my nine month pregnant self was so grateful for!

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Another perfect blush purchase was this Sweet Street at Dusk Wall Canvas from The Land of Nod. It’s the perfect amount of whimsy and fun in the room without having too much of a ‘baby’ vibe. I definitely want this room to be able to grow with her as she does! Also you’re probably thinking ‘what is this grey contraption?!’ And I was too. My friend Amy recommended the Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad to me and this is probably the #1 new baby product I would suggest every Mom buy. It is so soft, safe and comfortable for baby and best of all is that at 2am when she decides to pee all over herself and the changing table… it’s the easiest of clean up! The rose gold lamp pictured on the left is a true gem and can be found here.

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The Stokke Sleepi Crib is sort of a dream crib of mine. Since I was a little girl i’ve dreamed of having a oval crib for my babies and this is so beautifully designed and functional. This crib grow as the baby does and can go up to 10 years old! Blanket pictured is the Aden + Anais Daydream blanket which we’ve talked about before… it’s the softest blanket in all the land!

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And since accessories make the room here are some of my favorites: Paper-Mache Zebra (on sale) // Periscope Floor Lamp // Winged Horses Mobil // Because Of You Print

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I had to include a picture of Lolly girl dreaming away with her Aden + Anais sheets to send us off! I love this space so much and the peace and tranquility it provides us in the busy hours of the day and the still quiet hours of the night. I hope you like it!

baby girl nursery(Above image courtesy of Rachel Clare Photography)

what i didn’t expect when i was expecting

We are currently attending Alt Summit (recap of our dinner party with Munchkin to come soon!) and figured this is the perfect day to call upon our favorite mamas with blogs and businesses that we admire from across the web. We posed the question: “What didn’t you expect when you were expecting?” Here’s what they had to say! (We threw in our own thoughts, too!)

“I didn’t expect to surrender to (and embrace!) the limitations of this season quite as much as I have. Becoming the mother I want to be – one that is fully present and at peace – has forced me to leave a lot of the expectations of my former self behind. It’s funny; I think many of us fight really hard to maintain our identity as mothers and keep our old selves in tact, but the truth of the matter is – motherhood changes you. The challenges and surprises and ebbs and flows force you to prune your branches and stand tall in this new, better version of yourself.” — Erin, Design for Mankind.

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“I didn’t expect to like my pregnant body so much. I’m pretty blissfully unaware of all the weight gained and naturally find myself embracing every curve. I gained almost 60 pounds with my second baby and if I wasn’t married, I’m sure I would’ve been picking up on guys in the supermarket.” — Elle, Solly Baby

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“When your babe first arrives (especially your first one) you feel like you are the first to ever experience such a thing. It’s all new and seems as though its never happened to anyone before. It’s magical in that way. At the same time, its lonely in that way. I didn’t know if what I was feeling was normal, if it was depression, if it was anxiety, if it was normal or if I was crazy. I kept it to myself for months and months, until I heard a friend describe her feelings in the same way. Homesick. I remember when Dash was born, every time my milk let down and it was time to nurse, I had an overwhelming feeling of home sickness. Its the only way I can describe the feeling. It lasted most of the duration of my nursing sessions, every time. All the way until I stopped nursing him at 18 months. I wondered if it was a new mom feeling, or if I would feel it again the second time around. When Sunny was born, the same feeling rushed over me when nursing began. I have since met a handful of others who seem to describe the sensation of nursing in a similar way.” — Nicole, Small Fry.

What I Didn't Expect When I Was Expecting

“I wasn’t expecting how much I’d enjoy the newborn stage the second time around. With my first, I was so anxious and overtired that I couldn’t wait until the 6 month mark when he was “fun” but this time, I’ve been able to really savor it.” — Amy, Little Hip Squeaks

What I Didn't Expect When I Was Expecting

“There is such magic in a newborn isn’t there? Those first few days are like no other you’ll experience. The hushed voices, tiny cries, sleepless nights. I.love.it.all. I wish I would have cherished how utterly devoted those days were when I just had my first, Quinn. We doted on his every need & nothing interrupted our time with him. Now having two big boys who need care & a tiny newborn who needs A LOT of care I’ll admit it’s hard to juggle it all. Sometimes I wish time would freeze and the world would stop turning much like my own little world has. But it doesn’t. Time moves on, there are needs to be met and places to be and sometimes my emotional state doesn’t allow for me to take all that in stride. I’m euphorically happy but unequivatebly sentimental all at the same time. I cry because I love this time so much and cry because it’s slipping through my fingers and cry because they grow too  fast. So.Much.Crying!!” — Jenna, Small Fry

What I Didn't Expect When I Was Expecting
There are so many things that I didn’t expect when I was expecting. I didn’t even grasp how hard the job of motherhood would be and also how unbelievably rewarding it is. Being a mom is for sure the toughest thing I will ever do. I think one of the biggest things I didn’t think would be so hard for me is how much my body has changed. I have a petite frame and growing up I was very active and it was easy to have a fit body. When I got pregnant with my first son I put on a lot of weight which was probably needed since I was very skinny before. My husband is really tall so we expected that our son might be pretty big as well. After 14 hours of trying I ended up having a c-section and gave birth to a healthy + big 9lb. baby boy! It took a long time for me to lose the weight after having him and I started to notice that my stomach wasn’t going back to normal and I didn’t know why. It was really hard and frustrating for me because I always thought I would bounce back quick after having babies. I didn’t realize that there are things that can happen to our bodies inside besides just weight gain. After doing some research I realized I had a common disorder among mothers that I had never heard of or ever thought would be a problem for me. Diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation) is when your abdomen muscles don’t touch and cause your stomach to push outward. If you have a really large separation like I did it can take years of special exercise and many times you need surgery to fully correct it. This is something that I’m still dealing with almost 5 years later and I actually don’t talk about it much. But this is something that many women struggle with and most don’t even know why their stomach still looks like they are pregnant. There are also a lot of exercises that moms do that can make this problem worse so I suggest that if you think you might have this to do some research as well on what types of exercises are good and bad for you! I continue to work hard to correct this problem on my own and it will continue to be a struggle for me physically and mentally. I know all moms can relate to some extent or another to changes of our bodies after having babies and I know it’s good for me to talk about this issue and to also hear from other moms who are dealing with the same issue. We can be support for each other! At the end of the day I’m so blessed to have two happy and healthy little boys and I would do anything for them. When I look in the mirror I see lots of extra skin and a non flat tummy…yes it’s hard to deal with at times but it was SO worth it!” — Megan, Little Peanut MagazineMeganBailey

“I was so happily surprised at how amazing mother’s intuition really is. It took me awhile to really embrace it, but I learned to start listening to that inner voice more than the outside noise. While it is super helpful to hear how other parents handle hard phases, illness, or other tricky parenting milestones, I really believe the answers are always within us. Also, the filter and frame on this picture makes me feel like I haven’t been pregnant since the late Seventies, I better jump on that.” — Emily, Small Fry.What I Didn't Expect When I Was Expecting

What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts below and we’ll be reposting throughout the day on our social networks! Happy weekend, everyone!

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I woke up Saturday (January 3) morning not feeling very well. I had promised my kids we would go to the Farmer’s Market, so I got myself out of bed (but not out of my sweats) and we headed there to meet friends. Through the day I just felt really exhausted & almost flu like, I definitely thought I was coming down with something! Starting around 3 I began having contractions. Being that I’ve had pre term labor with all of my pregnancies, I really didn’t stop to think twice about regular contractions.Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 3.32.41 PM I usually get turned away from the hospital with contractions being timed 3 min apart because I’m just not in an active labor. Super fun! :/ We laid low around the house & hung out & I contracted fairly regular for the next few hours while watching cheesy Lifetime movies. By the time bed time rolled around I was so exhausted that I just wanted the contractions to subside so I could sleep. I took a Lavender oil bath & a Tylenol PM in hopes I could sleep off the contractions which I still was sure were all a part of another false labor! I was able to drift off to sleep around midnight.

1:45 AM I wake up….wet. Gosh there really is no other way to say it. Any men reading? Probably not but I apologize in advance for everything else I’m about to write. So I’m wet but not drenched & I think “weird.” I get out of bed (my water has never broken before I’m like a 7 or 8) and I instantly feel a contraction. FREAK. Every time my water breaks I have a baby within the hour sooooo I felt the pressure, literally, to get going.

1:50 AM text my most kind neighbor “I think my water broke.” She immediately replies “I’m on my way.” She’s a dream girl I’m telling you.

1:52 AM wake husband who acts startled but then drifts off for a second time as I’m shaking him saying “hi I don’t mean to be annoying but my water broke.”

2:00 AM drive away as my neighbor is driving in to come sleep with the babies. Contractions are coming on decently strong and I’m thinking “wellll this doesn’t feel totally right.”

2:15 AM husband can’t find a parking spot at the hospital because he’s obeying all traffic laws at two am. I start crying & panicking cause I can definitely feel that something’s about to blow & I haven’t got time to worry about a parking ticket.

2:19 AM waddle in to hospital and tell the young nurse guy at the entry way to the ER “hi I’m 37 weeks pregnant & I’m about to have this baby. I need you to get me to Labor & Delivery right now.” He looks panicked (I later learn he’s new) and starts fumbling with paper work while I’m giving him death stares (I later apologize.)

2:21 AM I am FINALLY at L & D where the lady there asks me to fill out paperwork & I say “NO ONE IS TAKING ME SERIOUSLY I’M ABOUT TO HAVE THIS BABY.” So they wheel me to a room.

2:30 AM I get checked, I’m only a 4. No one starts rushing but I am telling them “look I had my last baby naturally so I know that I’m feeling it much more than a 4.” Again no one’s rushing–they’ve heard that girl say she’s about to have a baby and she’s dilated to a 2…like 300 times right?

2:38 AM “GUYS YOU NEED TO CHECK ME I AM GOING TO HAVE THE BABY.” I’m a 9.

2:41 AM The nicest nurse delivers my sweet Lolly Kate Rammell, weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and 18 inches. No time for a doctor, an epidural or so much as a breath.

 

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The last two weeks with our Lolly babe have been a special and deeply sacred time. We really feel like we’ve found the end of the rainbow with this magic tiny babe. Through much heart ache we longed for her & each moment we are eternally grateful for her. She is the perfect & a most cherished addition to our family & I feel so blessed to have her here safely in my arms.

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Best of SF Baby

When we mentioned some of our older DIY’s for babies last week we were shocked at how many of you hadn’t seen them before! We wanted to do a quick repost of some of our favorite ideas for recycling and upcycling for your new baby. These make awesome shower and hospital gifts and are all under a few bucks each.

First off, The Five Minute legging!

Baby leggings made of a Body Con skirt!

 

1. Take a body-con skirt (these are on sale and come in a bunch of colors!) and turn it inside out.

2. Using a fabric pencil or chalk draw up the leg making an inverted “U” for the crotch area.

3.Then take your sewing machine and sew over the white line you just drew. Cut the excess off and flip it right side out. Seriously, you’re done.body con baby leggings

Another favorite baby DIY is this beanie made from a t-shirt or sleeve:T-Shirt Beanie for Baby

 

Find more wardrobe hacks for babies and kiddos right here!

Plate Glass at my Party

Today we have an important post by one brave reader and friend, Marylin. We feel really fortunate that she was willing to come forward and share her experience so candidly. We also wanted to note that while we were prepping for this important post we learned some information that we thought might be beneficial to share. We tried at first to contrast baby blues with Postpartum Depression, put them on a nice neat little chart, but after consulting with family physcian Dr. Erika Noonan we learned an important piece to this puzzle. Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression are nearly exactly the same in symptom. The differences are merely onset and duration. Meaning that the only way to tell these differences at times are that your symptoms last longer than two weeks, or can manifest themselves at any time during the first year. With Baby Blues they usually spring on within a few days of delivery, and will be resolved within the first couple weeks. We wanted to share with you all, as we weren’t aware of the differences and maybe some of you were in our boat! Now, back to Marylin:
Postpartum Depression, those two words shouldn’t be together, side by side as partners. Having a baby is the best day, you’re finally face to squishy face with this amazing, tiny person that your body carried and supported life for, for 40 weeks. You’ve waited for this moment and it’s everything you wanted it to be. Then when you are home and adjusting to a new life, filled with one or more of these little people, visitors have gone home, meals have stopped coming in, and you’re sitting in your white wicker rocking chair with the handmade cushion, holding this now three week old baby boy, and the only emotion is sorrow. It sneaks up on you, even if you have met this darkness before, became well acquainted with it’s toxic nature, sent it packing, and now it’s returned with luggage and intentions of an extended stay.
Postpartum Despression Essay
That was me with my 4th child who is now 3 years old, although I’ve had postpartum depression with all four of my children. With the oldest I was going through a divorce within ten days of her arrival, so it’s hard to discern the PPD from the divorce so I will speak mostly of the other three experiences I’ve had. My second child was a pretty easy baby, she slept really well, which in my book gives her angel status. I wasn’t sleep deprived, my house wasn’t full of other young children since my oldest was already in school, so it took me off guard when the vivid yet intruding thoughts began when she was about 2 weeks old. They would interrupt my thoughts while carrying her down the hall, or watching her sleep in her crib, thoughts of dropping her, or her suffocating in blankets while sleeping. I was shocked by how real they appeared in my mind as if watching a movie. I cried alone and ashamed on many days, I wondered what was wrong with my mind, it was betraying me and my child. I had days that it was all I could do to get us showered and dressed. I didn’t tell anyone, and I suffered for a long time on my own, in fact I don’t remember ever getting outside help, I was scared of what others would think. I never spoke up but I know I used yoga and other types of exercise as my coping method and eventually it subsided, the horrible thoughts ceased, as did the paranoia, crying and sadness.
 Postpartum Depression Essay
With my third child, and first son the postpartum came on much stronger than previous times. I remember one evening I was sorting laundry and sobbing simultaneously, my husband walked into the room and asked me what was wrong and I simply said “I just want to die.” I meant it. There was no hope, no open door or light at the end of the tunnel. During the day I would go about taking care of my son, the house and the other two kids like I was on autopilot, the horrible thoughts, the bouts of crying, and this feeling of numbness in my head all returned with a vengeance. I was out of my mind and yet stuck there at the same time. One afternoon we pulled up to a park and I watched as my husband got all three children out of the car, he asked if I would be joining them and I just shook my head. I sat there in the quiet thinking about how it might be better for them if I wasn’t there, and then in an instance of clarity the real “Marylin” picked up the cell phone and sent a text to our amazing doctor that said “What happens if I feel like driving my car into a brick wall?” he simply replied, “Oh Marylin, I am calling in a prescription right now and you are going to pick it up.” He also requested I come back to see him. I followed through with both suggestions and it helped to a degree. For me, the medication didn’t completely fix it but it became “manageable” as they say, I was able to get through the days without the crazy thoughts and endless tears and the ideas of suicide, but I wasn’t all me.
After 3 years on medication I was wondering if I would ever find my way back when a thought came to me about the birth control method I was using. I did some quick online searches and found that a pretty large percentage of women that used the same IUD had, reported depression and excessive weight gain, both of which I was dealing with. I made the decision that day to have it removed and after talking with my doctor I decided to discontinue use of the medication as well. It took a few months but I began to see the sun again in my life, I knew that for me the increased PPD from that pregnancy was very likely related to my birth control choice.
With my last child there were so many extenuating circumstances that contributed to the PPD, a VERY sick first 22 weeks of pregnancy, a move to a new city, Preeclampsia and an early delivery in the cold, dark winter set it up like a house of cards. I was better prepared mentally though, I knew that it would come and so I began making preparations, I looked into local yoga studios, tried to make friends, found a rec center with a gym, and talked lots with my husband. I thought I was ready for it, but once again it showed up with it’s joy stealing ways and brought me to my knees on more than one day. I was sleep deprived, completely overwhelmed with a newborn that screamed from 8pm-5am and then sure – wake up and get two children off to school and entertain a 3 year old – no problem. It was survival of the fittest though and I had fight in me. I went on an all elimination diet when he was 8 weeks old and he and I began to sleep again, I added as much yoga as I could at a nearby studio and I confided in my husband instead of shutting him out. While it was far from glamorous and my knees were bruised from praying, I didn’t quit, even in my loneliest, darkest moment I knew I was going to be OK.Postpartum Depression Essay
Postpartum depression is like a thief in the night that robs you quietly, and leaves you feeling the shame. It doesn’t play by rules or care that you were supposed to be breathing every moment of that perfect newborn that you tried for years to have, suffered multiple miscarriages, prayed for, yearned for. It doesn’t care. It will linger sometimes for years after your child is born, you will have months of beautiful weather and then like you moved to Seattle it will rain for weeks on end. The most difficult part for me about PPD is how isolating it becomes. I was supposed to be bursting with rainbows and glitter after these miracles in my life and it felt more like watching the surprise party through plated glass, I could see all the good in front of me and yet I wasn’t able to fully enjoy it, it was out of my grasp. I love my children endlessly and there were definitely times of bonding and absolute bliss, holding them and sticking my nose in their necks to inhale. I know that for some, nursing becomes difficult with PPD, but for me, it was essential to bringing me out of the looking glass for periods of time when I could feel and taste every last drop of blessings being poured into my life. My husband was gracious and kind, he would give me space when I needed it, but then pull me back when I was away too long, he remind me of why it was worth staying. He is truly my living, breathing hero. He carried more than I wish he’d had to and if he ever resented me I never knew it. Anyone suffering with PPD needs a Jimmy, they just do.
I can now say that I am on the safe side of PPD, our family won’t be growing by way of my womb at any time in the future. The sad, but honest part is that it’s a huge relief, like the deep breath after a scary movie, I breathe in the new chapter of my life without postpartum depression. Of course I would never trade my children, well except that time when #4 dumped an entire gallon of milk into my carpet next to a dozen cracked eggs, I thought about it, but I wouldn’t trade them. I won’t even ask for those years back, I mourn them from time to time but I work to live right here and now with the four most important purposes in my life. I don’t talk about what I went through very often, or really at all, this is the first time I am bringing it to the surface with my face to the sun knowing I will never have to dive to those depths again, it didn’t beat me and I didn’t drown. I have learned to know that it wasn’t my fault, there is no blame. I am a believer of hope and grace and a power beyond my own. Telling my story feels strangely like I am letting go of this toxic friend, one that has taken up too many years as it is and feels good to move on and let go.
Photos by Marissa Moss.