A look back at New Year, New Baby

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Here are some favorites from the archives!

NEW MOM ADVICE from Ashley of the Shine Project // The Girls With Glasses // Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook // Liz of Say Yes! // Anna of In Honor of Design // Danielle of Sometimes Sweet // Little Baby Garvin // The Brickyard Buffalo Girls // And a whole slew of blogger favorites sharing what They Didn’t Expect When They Were Expecting! Essays on Postpartum Depression.Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 9.59.09 PM

BIRTH STORIES! Jenna’s crazy birth story, Emily’s crazy birth story and Callum’s birth video:

Cal de Lune // Frame family from Collin Kartchner on Vimeo.

HITS from our ADOPTION series, like this birth mother’s story, this woman was adopted and her story will break your heart and re-mend it.

FEEDING — Gear for Breastfeeding, Tips from a Lactation Specialist, Our Viral post “Why I Chose to Bottlefeed”, Feeding yourself and the first 40 days postpartum, Best meals to bring to a new mom, and baby led weaning.Screen-Shot-2015-01-08-at-8.28.02-AMNURSERYOrganizing it, The best shared bedrooms nurseries, nurseries that PACK a PUNCH!, Nurseries that are more sereneDIY hacks,  Tips from an Interior Decorator, Lolly’s Nursery, Raleigh’s Nursery, one of our favorite DIYs, still one of our favorite newer inventions,b604f94a85fb33c29f2177643ea370a0Check back each day for an awesome giveaway and a take over on insta stories by some of my favorite open-book mamas. You know the ones! Who get real, honest, genuine about their journey. I hope it helps give us all the boost we need to fight for our best selves in this role!

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Easter Best for You

We’ll be covering Easter Best for the whole family over the next little while, but first up is for YOU! Because that is a cardinal rule amongst coordinating outfits for families. Start with mom. Once you’re happy and feeling you’re best everything else will fall into place. We tried to cover our bases with basic, modern, feminine, hot and cold climates, show stoppers and dresses you can wear again and again.  Nearly all (maybe besides one or two) are under $75. So happy budget shopping!Easter Dresses for Women (most under $75)1. Striped Button Down Maxi 2. Swim Caftan 3. Belted Split Sleeve Midi (comes in a dusty mint too!) 4. Emrbroidered Overlay 5. Knit Bell Lace Sleeve 6. Red Ruffle Midi 7. Long Halter Dress 8. Red Panel on White Dress 9. Oversized Smock Stripe Dress 10. Teal Tulip Dress 11. Ruffle Sleeve Blue Dress 12. Red Eyelet 13. White Floral Beaded Bib 14. Floral Overall

nursing notes

By Emily in partnership with ErgoBaby.

I have spent a LOT of time nursing the last couple months and while I sometimes wish for longer arms to wrangle my mischievous older two (who now have realized I am partially immobile and can get away with a lot) I am loving the time I get to spend just Raleigh and me. Depending on how wakeful Raleigh is I either get some much need work done: shoot off a few emails, put up a social media post or take my “nursing notes.” Or if he’s awake: I honestly do nothing but stare at him. He’s the most coy little smiler and if I miss a single one I am heartbroken! Nursing Notes What are nursing notes you ask? I’ve found it’s the best time for me to jot down cute, sweet, funny things that I want to remember about my life as a mother.  Here’s a couple, lately:

Hayes loves to conjecture why Raleigh is sad, “I think it’s a burp”, “He’s getting hungry!” “He’s so tired, mom.” But my favorite was when I asked how he knew he was sad and he said “His face is crumbling.” Spot on reference if you’ve seen a crying baby!

Nursing Notes

Or, How Callum tells anyone who will listen that “This is Raleigh Rex, my brother. I named him that.” (Backstory: Since Hayes is named after Russ, Hayes Russell, and Cal is named after my maiden name, Callum Kartchner, we thought it was only fair to let the boys take a turn at naming Raleigh. They rattled off the most epic list of options. Cal’s best suggestion was “Raleigh Ay Yi Yi” and Hayes wanted “Raleigh Hayes Junior” Finally after hearing the list, one of them said T. Rex and Rex stuck! Nursing NotesErgo sent their new nursing pillow as a part of our year long partnership with them and it has been saving my bacon. Those late night feedings I can barely keep my eyes open let alone have good posture. Slowly but surely my posture was effected during the day, too. My back was just tight and felt permanently hunched. Their pillow brings the baby back up to the optimum position and takes the strain off your shoulders and back allowing for better posture. We are getting more comfortable with nursing every day, but back when he was brand new and it took four arms and a prayer to get a latch to stick the pillow was such a big help with that, too!Nursing Notes

You can buy the Ergo Nursing pillow on their site and in most major baby gear retailers! Lipstick: Nars Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl.

city select SALE!

The City Select was the very first high end stroller that I purchased after Sunny was born. My friends and online reviews raved about it. And now, I’m the one preaching! This stroller is fantastic. I went with black, because I think it looks chic for a double stroller (which trust me, that’s HARD to find). I started with it as a double since both my boys were little. They LOVED that the seats could both face me as I pushed them. As they grew, they wanted to face each other. When the giggling and playing got to be too much for me, I flipped Dash to face forward. It was nice having him in the front as he started to get older and want to hop in and out of the seat. With Sunny still up top, I felt secure and safe.

With all that being said, how excited are we that the City Select fam is all on sale at The Baby Cubby? Pretty! Even better, they have free shipping!

Find the single here. The double here. And all the amazing accessories you can add on to customize it just so, here!Untitled-5If you’re not sure if the City Select is the perfect fit for you, check out The Baby Cubby’s Stroller Guide to find your best match!

First Forty Days

I have had this book recommended to me several times since being pregnant and so I am so happy to have them here sharing their tips for nurturing your post-partum self.

They open the conversation about important the first 40 days are. I know of so many cultures that truly take care of the mother like you would the newborn. I don’t know if its just the culture here, or maybe a pressure I put on myself but it seems like life just goes on when you have a baby and I love all this book’s concepts of truly taking care of yourself!

Welcome to them! xo – Emily

FullSizeRender-6 5 things pregnant moms can do now to prepare for the First Forty Days postpartum:Bone Broth | Postpartum RecipeAn easeful, restorative postpartum period begins before the baby even arrives. Taking some simple steps in the third trimester will give you the space and assurance to sink into The First Forty Days with a light heart and a calm mind.

Here are five easy things you can do to prepare before you’re swept into a vortex of baby bliss and sleep deprivation. Bone Broth | Postpartum Recipe

1) Ask four relationship-saving questions
A new baby is one of the greatest stressors on a relationship. Beat the statistics—two-thirds of couples experience a negative shift in their relationship within three years of having a child—by asking some key questions before your new addition joins the family.

1. How will we divvy up baby-caring responsibilities?
2. How will our finances be influenced by baby’s arrival? (This includes the time, if any, that the mother will be taking off from work and any professionals that will be hired to help.)
3. How will our sex life be affected by the addition of a newborn?
4. How will our social lives change once baby is here?

Bone Broth | Postpartum Recipe2) Create a System of Help
Whether you receive assistance in the form of food dropped off to your door, or have someone take your older child to and from school, or get regular help with laundry, dishes and general housecleaning, asking folks to commit to supporting you and your family during the First Forty Days is essential postpartum preparation. You can pass a sign up sheet around at your Blessingway (see #4, below) or email friends and family a spreadsheet with the areas of your life that will need attention while you’re busy recovering from birth and bonding with your baby. Don’t be shy to ask for help! People want to support you. Help them help you.

3) Design Your Postpartum Nest
Spend less time worrying about the color of the nursery and more time considering your postpartum landing pad. You will be spending the majority of the First Forty Days lying or sitting down, resting and breastfeeding, so be sure that you’ve got a super comfy, incredibly supportive spot in which to do so. Your arms and breasts are a newborn’s entire universe so turn your nesting attention to the pillows that will be holding you up and the view that you’ll be taking in while you remain perched for hours. If you don’t have a pretty vista to take in consider hanging an inspiring piece of art or bringing in a striking plant. Lighting’s important, too. You should be able to reach a lamp without getting up and ideally it will have a dimmer to keep things nice and cozy when baby is dozing.

Bone Broth | Postpartum Recipe

4) Honor Yourself with a Blessingway
In most cultures, the transition to motherhood is a significant rite of passage in a woman’s life. Taking some time to honor your own journey to motherhood—or motherhood again—influences the ease you will experience on the other side. Tell a close friend that you’d like to have a small ceremony or gathering (it doesn’t have to be a big party) or simply take some time to consider all your body has accomplished in pregnancy, pampering yourself with a prenatal massage. It doesn’t matter how you choose to do it, just be sure to honor yourself in some way.

5) Make and Freeze Rejuvenating Broth
In China soup is revered as a preventative and curative elixir. During the First Forty Days new mothers are encouraged to sip healing bone broths to enhance warmth throughout the body, a key step in rebuilding the blood that was lost during childbirth. During the third trimester make vats of broth and freeze for easy cooking after baby arrives. Revitalizing broth can be sipped alone (try it instead of coffee or tea in the morning) or used in soups and stews. Get a simple, delicious bone broth recipe at the Mother Bees site!Bone Broth | Postpartum Recipe

 

the baby cubby!

Getting ready for this baby with my youngest being nearly 5, I feel like such a rookie! Even running a blog about kids and all the latest gear I have been feeling lost about what I need, what brands and items will fill that need the best and how to sort through the millions of options. The Baby Cubby is a brick and mortar store in Lindon, Utah really close to my house so I’ve been spending lots of time there testing out all their brands and samples for everything from a carseat to baby toys. They also have Resource Guides on their site (scroll to the bottom navigation to see the list!) so if you can’t go into the store you still get that customized experience. One guide they have on their site that I love is the Diaper Bag Guide! They go through all the features you might want or need and break down which brands and styles fit which need. GENIUS! I ended up going with Petunia Pickle Bottom’s new Pathway Pack – it is absolutely beautiful in person and all the features of the bag sold me. Pathway PackYou’ll have to check out the comprehensive buying guide here, but here’s a little taste of it so you can see they mean business.Diaper-Bag-Checklist

When you first start spotting Petunia Pickle Bottom bags you can’t help but notice that SO many moms carry them and swear by them. I had never used one before but actually holding the Pathway Pack in my hands at the Baby Cubby’s store you realize why the brand is so popular. They think of everything and include it in the bag. From the matte black wipes case, to the laptop sleeve. Back pack straps or cross body, It was seemingly made for me. Then the cherry on top is the coated linen. You get that beautiful bone color and the texture of linen and the contrast with the stark black but since it’s coated you can wipe it off. If a diaper bag needs to be one thing it’s durable, but I love that I can still have that beautiful color combo.

Just my weekly pregnancy PSA for you guys! Anyone who needs a little guidance like I did — Diaper Bag Buying Guide to the rescue!

#amazinghood surprise

When Dreft offered to partner with us to help spoil a mother-to-be we jumped at the chance! We always love an opportunity to give back to one of you amazing readers. Having a new baby staple like Dreft on board only made it feel more doable as three busy moms ourselves! We got the sweetest email from Julie’s sister-in-law and we could hardly believe what we were reading. It is like something from a movie, but in reality it is Julie’s everyday experience for the last two years.#amazinghood surpriseJust two years ago Julie had her first baby, a beautiful boy. While she was waiting out the labor process in the hospital, her mother had a fall that caused a serious head injury. Her mother ended up in the same hospital in a bed a level below Julie, and has been in a coma ever since. Hearing Julie talk about how one of the happiest days of her life was clouded with grief and worry was so heartbreaking. Almost like she traded her mom for her son,  entering motherhood not being able to talk or communicate with her. Now two years later she is set to have her second baby any day now, while her mother still remains in that coma.#amazinghood surprise#amazinghood surpriseWe can still hardly wrap our minds around this, shed lots of tears at the thought and totally woke us up on some things we take for granted everyday. We couldn’t wait to meet Julie, give a little gift and our well-wishes. We surprised her with her sister-in-law’s help and luckily she had heard of Small Fry before so it wasn’t a total cold call. 😉#amazinghood surpriseJulie was so peaceful and resolved and has taken on so much in the last two years. She said her son was the best gift she could’ve been given the day of her mom’s accident and she looks forward to delivering her new baby in happier circumstances. Maybe we can talk Julie into sharing more of her story here, the complexities and details taught us so much in the time we spent with her! To keep her privacy in tact we’ll just stop at the quick version summary. When we packed her gift bag that Dreft smell hit our noses and we instantly had memories of our own babies, folding tiny onesies and swaddling blankets. Isn’t amazing how smells can do that? We hope that smell will remind her of happy times, too!#amazinghood surpriseHer little gift included the detergent in both the Stage One formula for newborns and Stage 2 which is especially created to get stains out of your more active toddler’s clothing. They also provided Blissfuls which you can toss into any laundry load for that sweet Dreft smell.We also threw in our favorite baby gifts – Freshly Picked moccasins, a Solly Baby Dolly Swaddle for her son to practice with, a Little Standout teether, MAM binkies#amazinghood surpriseParenthood is one big messy beautiful journey and everyone has a story to tell. We’re grateful to have heard Julie’s!#amazinghood surpriseThanks to Dreft for sponsoring this fun event!

small fry favorite: fridababy

YOU GUYS. Have you seen fridababy products? If not you might be living under a rock or not going to Target, but let us enlighten you! Fridababy makes some of our VERY favorite products you had no idea would enrich your life so greatly. They are so innovative while still easy to use. Let’s break it down.frida

NoseFrida // Ever have a stuffed up baby that can not breathe and therefore cannot sleep so NO one is sleeping? Yeah this is your best friend. It’s a little bit weird at first, but trust us, mucous doesn’t stand a chance against it.

The Windi // Words can not express our love for this one. When Jenna had her third baby who had severe Colic, the women of Instagram spoke with fountains of advice, but The Windi was sung most loudly. You may be alarmed initially, but NOTHING gets out gas like your friend The Windi. Turns out they’re sort of tough to find in store which is a shame, but never fear you can get it over night basically on Diapers.com or Amazon. Or better yet buy this before you eat something your baby doesn’t like — cause this will save you.

The Buttwasher // Does just as it says it will. It’s a portable bidet that will leave your kiddos (or you for that matter) so fresh and so clean clean. Wiping is a constant battle at our house and not entirely super sanitary during the practice stage of potty training so this tool makes us confident that all is well down there 🙂

The Momwasher // This one is brand new and we’re obsessed. This is WAY better than the bottle they give you in the hospital. If you’re a man reading this you can stop now to save yourself. The bottle can be held upside down and has a narrow neck for easier aim… cause ya know… things are messy after a baby. You deserve more than a plastic bottle after what you’ve been through. Treat yourself to the mom washer!

Have you had any success using these innovative products? Leave your praise in the comments below!

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!

holiday gift guide: for mom

We love putting these together for everyone on our list, but sometimes mama’s gotta get a little something-something, too! Here’s our picks:

holiday gift guide for mom

1. There is something so nostalgic about rose, it’s a scent we attribute to our grandmothers, but when we found this Olivine Love + Roses body mist and read all the benefits, we see why our Grandmas made rose a part of their beauty routines. This is hydrating, anti-aging, a mood lifter, and so many other things. Read all about it here.

2. Williams-Sonoma’s GoldTouch line is so gorgeous. Gold bake ware! Not only is it gold, but it also touts that it’s more resistant to scratching and cleans super easily. We’ll take it! We also love the diamond pattern on these cooking sheets, which allows for air-flow through the sheet making for more even baking. Also, did we mention gold?

3. Now that Little Giraffe has made adult-wear with their super soft blanket material, we can’t get enough. They have robes (seen above!), blankets, and more, and this new snow leopard pattern is so chic and luxe!

4. We have been toying with the idea of switching to organic or all natural beauty products, it seems so daunting – if any of you readers have any tips, let us know! – but we love getting lost at the Organic Pharmacy. So many cool options that are teasing us to buy. These brushes are beautiful and long-lasting.

5. We’ve shared Anna Bee before, but we can’t help but share a few more times because this everyday necklace has stood the test of time. Still looks brand new, and gets so many compliments!

6. Another great personalized option is Pinhole Press’es calendars. Upload all your favorite photos into their site and then drag and drop on to the calendar as you like. They’ll think of you every time they look at it!

7. Sometimes all mom needs to take some time for herself is an excuse. This bath soak from the Bathory is pretty enough to sit out on the counter, so eventually she’s going to have to use it. The detoxifying properties and essential oil scents are a home run.

8. We love the idea of upgrading something practical like silverware to something more elegant and high quality. Ikea works great, but this set will make her feel pampered with each use.

9. Whether you need a diaper bag, a weekend getaway duffel, or something to tote all your gym clothes, we love JuJuBe’s oversized bags! Planning a get away with this weekender will be the perfect way to chase the post holiday blues away.