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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Adjusting as a Family of Four + One Month Update



Has life been different since adding our sweet baby boy to our family. This past month has been so hard mentally and emotionally but oh so good. The first two weeks I really struggled in balancing my attention between Sophia and baby Anthony and it really tore me up inside that I could not give my all to either one. When I was taking care of this sweet new baby, I couldn't help but remember Sophia being a newborn and missing her. Man oh man how time goes by fast and this made me feel sad about missing Sophia's growth here and now as well. 


Wondering if I soaked in enough time with her. 

Was I truly intentional those first 19 months of being just her mommy? 

And in turn, it made me realize I wasn't enjoying this newborn stage with baby Anthony and soaking up all the newborn cuddles. I found myself wanting him to sleep so I could go spend one on one time with Sophia and this cycle of thinking just kept circling my mind. 


Was this postpartum depression? 

Do all moms have this way of thinking when having two under two? 

Or was my life circumstances (parents dying) playing a role in my guilt of not spending enough time with either?



Those few weeks were so long as I really considered what I was feeling and my mood got worse the longer I kept these feelings to myself. I finally opened up to Anthony and told him how I was feeling and the guilt I was having and wondering if I was suffering from postpartum depression and he was such an encouragement to me in reassuring me and comforting me.

Side note: Anthony has always been the one afraid he couldn't love or wouldn't be able to divide his attention for each child the same whereas I'm all let's have 20 kids and we will love them equally and now I am the one who was struggling with wondering if my time was enough with just two. It's funny how that worked out and he ended up having to lift me up.

Since that talk, I have been even more intentional with my time with Sophia and baby Anthony and trying to give myself grace because I can't do it all even if I want to. My mood has also greatly improved and I don't have that guilty feeling hanging over my head anymore. I'm able to enjoy baby Anthony and all his sweet little baby coos.





My big guy is the chunkest thing. He started off wearing size 1 diapers right away and after about 2 boxes is now in size 2 and we are thinking we may have to move him up to size 3 already! He also skipped newborn clothes altogether and went straight to 3 months and even now some 3 months are getting too small so moving up to 6 months has started happening at 6 weeks old!

This guy also started trying to hold his head up right away which we think is because he has such a huge neck. Well this guy is just huge all over who am I kidding, haha. He has even started trying to scoot when doing tummy time, like what the what? He is really trying to speed ahead in milestones all at once and mommy just needs him to slow down.



His sleep has been somewhat of a struggle this first month which honestly is to be expected since we are all adjusting to this new way of life. The first few weeks, he took really good naps during the day and decided to have parties at night and we quickly knew we needed to help him change that because when you have more than 1 kid, there is no sleeping when the baby sleeps. Once we finally got him sleeping pretty well at night (it only took about a day or two for him to catch on), this guy decided we wouldn't take naps during the day. He would only take one nap during the day and luckily he would do that at Sophia's nap time so we got some type of break from both kids. Although his nap times during the day were hit or miss, his bedtime was amazing. He was sleeping from around 8-11 pm, nurse back to sleep until 2 am, nurse, sleep until 4 or 5 am, nurse, sleep until around 7 or 8 am and up for the day so about every 2-3 hours. He quickly dropped the 11 pm feeding when I started to dream feed him at that time. I only did it twice so now at 6 weeks old, he is in bed around 8 or 8:30 pm, he wakes up to nurse around 2 am, again around 5 or 6 am, again around 8 or 9 am and wakes for the day around 10 or 11 am. This is on average, there are still nights were he may wake up one extra time or his day may start at 9 am instead but overall he is a much better sleeper at night then Sophia was as an infant. The last week daytime naps have been very consistent and going good so hoping that will continue.



So my biggest lesson with being a mom with two under two is to work on my time management. There is so much going on and so much to do but my kiddos come first. Dishes will always be there, the floor will always need to be cleaned but they are only this little for so long. Therefore, I want to make the most of my time with them and when they are napping at the same time or playing independently, I want to be productive with that time instead of mindless scrolling on social media.




One Month Stats
Weight: 14 pounds 0.5 ounes 
Height: 24 inches
Head Circumference: 15.75 inches

Firsts
smile
cooing

Loves
mommy
being held
"Rock-a-bye Baby"

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat

What I Want to Remember
his baby snores
his over-dramatic stretching and the grunts he makes even while sleeping
his dramatics when nursing
the way he looks into my eyes and smiles with his eyes and then gives me an actual smile
the way he quickly calms down when I start singing (even with my horrible vocals, ahaha)

How did your family adjust from going to one kid to two? Did you have your kids closer together in age or further?






 Photos by LaPalomento Photography



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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

4 Uses for the DockATot


The post was created in partnership with DockATot but all thoughts, opinions are of my own.

By this point, I am sure the whole world knows about my love for DockATot. It truly is an amazing product that has made the biggest impact in our parenting lives. We first received the DockATot Grand when Sophia was 9 months old (read that review here) and the Grand also helped make our hospital labor and delivery easier since we wanted Sophia as involved as possible during the whole process of welcoming baby Anthony into the world (read that experience here). 

Now I cannot stop singing the praises of the DockATot Deluxe. We never planned to be a co-sleeping family, Sophia forced it upon us and once we found out we were expecting baby Anthony, I couldn't imagine him not sleeping with us but I knew the only way I would feel safest is if we had the DockATot Deluxe. But what makes the Deluxe so amazing is the versatility and the different ways you can use it so I am sharing four ways we make use of our DockATot Deluxe.

Quick Disclosure: We do not leave baby Anthony unattended in the DockATot while on an elevated surface (such as the bed or couch), I was only away long enough to quickly snap these photos.

Co-sleeping

The most obvious way is as a co-sleeper. I love that we are able to have baby Anthony in our bed and I can easily place my hand on his chest to ensure he is breathing (when Sophia was born I barely slept because I was constantly leaning over the bassinet to check her breathing status before she forced us to co-sleep). The bumpers/sides of the DockATot help prevent Anthony or me from rolling on top of baby Anthony and they also help baby Anthony feel snug and secure like he is still in the womb. So basically we are all sleeping easier because of the DockATot.





Lounging

Another way we like to use the DockATot Deluxe is when we are around the house. Sophia loves playing with her toys all over the house and I love that I can easily carry the Deluxe to whichever room she wants to play in to have a place for baby Anthony to lounge in while we watch big sister play.



Tummy Time

During our play times with Sophia, we also use the DockATot for tummy time for baby Anthony so he can strengthen those neck muscles. We just put his arms and chest on the side of the bumpers and put toys in front of his line of vision. The bumpers help keep his chest up to prevent his head from hitting the ground or possibly smothering himself from not being able to lift his head.

Travel

Besides co-sleeping, this is my favorite use for the DockATot. My in-laws live about an hour away in the country and they do not drive to the city very often so we make almost weekly trips out there to visit them and stay for about 6 or more hours. Basically an entire day. Because the Deluxe is so compact (you could buy a heavy duty case here, we have one for Sophia's Grand and love it!), it travels very easily which makes nap-times at grandma and grandpa's successful 99% of the time. Baby Anthony gets to have the comfort and scent of his own bed wherever we go so he is guaranteed to always have a good sleep unless of course he is going through a growth spurt or teething but that's another story, haha.





Do you have a DockATot? What are your favorite ways to use it?

Please feel free to share with your friends and family who would love the DockATot!



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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide for Him featuring JORD Watches


As I have mentioned in previous gift guides that I have done, Anthony is very low key when it comes to the type of gifts he likes. He is a big gamer and music lover but this year I wanted to do something a little different for him. 

A few years ago (when we were in our early 20s), I bought him this flashy watch. Think of a grill but for your wrist. Yeah I blame being a 19/20 year old, haha. Anyways, I figured it was time for an upgrade and a more sophisticated watch. I have been eyeing JORD wood watches for almost a year now and when they reached out to me to try out their new holiday collection, there was no hesitation on my part to get one for Anthony as a gift.


First, I love the look of wood tones. The grain in wood just does something for me. Secondly, JORD watches are the perfect combination of sophistication and causal. You can easily dress this watch up or down for everyday wear.

And as y'all I know, I'm not that good at keeping gifts from Anthony since I just get too excited so he helped me pick out the one  he liked the most which he chose the Frankie watch in Koa & Ash and I already gave it to him to start wearing. I told y'all I'm the worst but how amazing does this watch look on his wrist? I mean obviously he can make anything look good but I feel this JORD watch suits him perfectly and was the perfect gift.




Now for the good stuff for you guys! Every year JORD has amazing holiday deals but this year they are having their largest discounts ever just for ya'll! Each person who enters their information here will instantly be emailed with an exclusive holiday coupon code worth 25% off! Perfect timing for your holiday shopping so be sure to add JORD to your Black Friday shopping list. 




Watch Gift Ideas


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nursing Bras Every Breastfeeding Mom Needs | Sleep Nursing Bras


Hey guys!! I was finally able to sneak in some time to share the next type of bra in my nursing bra series - to see my favorite everyday nursing bras check out this post

Today I wanted to share my favorite nursing sleep bra and this one isn't a bra per say. It is actually a nightgown with a light support built in bra that has clip down's which makes nursing extremely easy. There are a few reasons I am loving this nursing nightgown more so than an actual nursing sleep bra. 


The main reason is layers. I get hot really easily so previously I would only wear a nursing sleep bra to sleep and that was it and that can get cold but then if I were to wear a shirt or sleep dress over it I would have to lift up the shirt and pull down the bra and guys that is just too much when you are groggy in the middle of the night. So this Lucille Nursing Nightgown from Kindred Bravely is so lightweight and easy to work with. 


I also love that I was able to wear it during my pregnancy and it fit over my third trimester bump perfectly and now it helps hide my postpartum bump. It is completely flattering and definitely makes this mama feel feminine and sexy despite all the craziness that comes at the end of pregnancy and postpartum. 



Also, if we are being honest, you will often find me wearing this nightgown throughout the day as well because it is really that comfortable.

Do you have a favorite nursing sleep bra or nightgown?



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Monday, November 6, 2017

Dressing the Bump | Postpartum Style


The last time I shared a dressing the bump post, I was in the second trimester with Sophia. Since then I have played around with my style as a stay at home mom and then I shared snippets of my outfits and growing bump with baby Anthony. Once I was in the third trimester with baby Anthony, I started to look for inspiration for my postpartum style and one of the styles that kept appealing to me was the peplum top.

I love how it has a flowy drape that could easily disguise your postpartum bump so when I saw this maternity peplum top at PinkBlush, I knew I had to try it out. 



Again, what I love about PinkBlush is that their items stretch across your closet no matter what season of life you are in. Even though this top is technically labeled as maternity, my normal size fits me perfectly postpartum. The only con, depending on the importance to you, is that it isn't nursing friendly but I honestly don't mind lifting up my shirt to nurse my little babe so it isn't really a con to me. I guess from breastfeeding for 15-16 months with Sophia and now baby Anthony being my second babe to breastfeed, I feel more confident and don't necessarily need my tops to be nursing friendly. My bras are a different story, haha.



What is your favorite style to wear postpartum?



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Thursday, November 2, 2017

New Mom Survival Bins | Postpartum Care Kit


I am sharing another survival kit that I feel is the most important for all moms after giving birth and that is the postpartum care kit. Having everything you need in one place to properly take care of your lady bits makes everything easier and having the kit near the toilet is also a good idea. You don't want to have sat down on the toilet to realize you forgot to grab something out of the kit so be sure you set the kit up within arms reach of the toilet.

As the same with my breastfeeding kit, I am using a small tub from the hospital. It isn't the most aesthetically pleasing sight but it is free and it holds everything perfectly.




Most of these items I keep in my postpartum kit, I brought home from the hospital so be sure to check out my post on what to ask for before leaving the hospital.

Mesh Undies

I love love love mesh undies and take as many as I can get from the hospital which was six pairs both times. I just hand wash them immediately after using them and air dry so I can use them for up to two weeks. You could use them longer but I only needed them for two weeks after giving birth to Sophia and one week after baby Anthony.

Bed Liners 

If you have read my post on what to take from the hospital, I shared some photos of how I combine bed liners and the pads to get a more secure protection from leakage depending on how heavy your bleeding is. This time around, I didn't need the extra protection but it's better to have them on hand just in case.

Perineal Wash 

This little squirt bottle makes the clean up easier and what better is that it is free from the hospital.

Pads

I think this should, at least, be the most obvious thing you need after giving birth since you will have bleeding for a few weeks. I like to have extra heavy overnight on hand as well as my normal pads but again it just depends on how heavy your bleeding is. Also keep in mind that you cannot use tampons for about 6 weeks so have those pads handy.

Dermoblast 

Another freebie from the hospital. After cleaning everything up, spray this all up and down there for some nice numbing effect.

What do you keep in your postpartum kit? What is your absolute must-have?

I hope these posts have been helpful for you in creating your new mom survival kits. Please feel free to pin and share these posts with your friends and family as you see fit.


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Monday, October 30, 2017

Hospital Labor and Delivery with a Toddler


The post was created in partnership with DockATot but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.

As I mentioned in my hospital bag post, we planned on Sophia staying with us in the hospital and we knew DockATot would be the only way to make that successful since her "bed" would be with her. We made this decision because I personally wanted Sophia to be as involved as possible during labor, delivery and recovery. 

Quick disclosure, these photos are staged since I obviously wasn't up for taking photos during labor and delivery and I forgot to make sure to ask anyone else to.

We arrived to the hospital around 6:40am and as you can imagine Sophia was still groggy from being woken up out of her sleep. We were able to lay her DockATot Grand on the sofa seat inside the delivery room and have her lay there and relax. 



  
To our surprise, Sophia was so amazingly calm and relaxed the entire time I was in labor and delivery and I truly believe bringing the DockATot with us to the hospital helped transition her to be in a new environment where a lot was going on that she didn't understand. It gave her a sense of security and comfort while she played with her tablet and relax.



We did run into some minor complications after delivery which postponed us being moved into the recovery area and at this point it became too much for Sophia to stay with us so Anthony took her home and put her to bed while he waited for my sister to go stay the night with her. Having the DockATot Transport Bag was amazing for all this back and forth as it made it easier for Anthony to carry it on his shoulders while also carrying the diaper bag and Sophia. 


We already knew our love for the DockATot Grand but this experience really reconfirmed for us that it is the best baby product that has made the biggest impact for us in making our parenting lives easier. And the DockATot Transport Bag made the transportation more convenient during this whole experience.

Did you have your toddler or children involved in the labor and delivery process of their sibling?



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Friday, October 27, 2017

Introducing...



We are so excited to announce the most anticipated arrival of our baby boy, Anthony Carter, born October 24, 2017 at 6:10pm weighing a whopping 10 pounds 8.4 ounces and 21 inches long. As to be expected, I will be reducing the amount of time I spend on blogging while I savor this beautiful and joyous season of motherhood. 



Be sure to follow me on Instagram (@stormieariel) for live updates as it is easier to do a quick instastory or a post sharing my sweetnesses of motherhood.


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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Mom Survival Bins | Breastfeeding Kit


Last year after having Sophia, I shared what I took from the hospital after my maternity stay but I also shared a few more tidbits at the end of that post and one of them was how I made care kits for around the house. One for pumping/breastfeeding, one for postpartum mom care, and another for extra feeding essentials for when Sophia started solids. I decided this time around I would go into more detail of what I actually put in each of those care kits and today I will focus on the breastfeeding/pumping kit I created to have near my nursing station.

Last time, I just used one of those small hospital tubs and I plan to use that again since it is free but I do have my eye on this diaper caddy from The Good Baby. It's made to be a portable diaper station but we personally use changing tables just because our floor is constantly a mess with our Labrador Retriever shedding constantly. Anyways, since I will be having a toddler running around I most likely won't be able to have a designated nursing area like I did when I nursed Sophia so my nursing station will most likely be more beneficial if it's portable and since The Good Baby caddy has handles it would make it easier to carry around the house from room to room while I'm trying to keep up with Sophia. But I just can't really justify buying it plus we do not have the money to spend on it if it isn't needed. I mean I rather spend $20 on going out to eat, haha. I will keep you updated if I decide it would be beneficial to buy it or not though but for now, I will go the free route.



So these are the items I like to keep nearby for when I am breastfeeding/pumping:
  • Breast Pump and parts (your insurance should provide this)
  • Breast pump bags
  • DIY Pumping Bra
  • Marker (to label the bags)
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Nipple cream (I plan to use coconut oil this time around as needed)
  • Burp cloths (I use cloth diapers as burp cloths and for extra protection against leaky boobs) 
  • Breast pads
  • Milkies milk saver (this product is new to me but it is suppose to catch leaking milk from the opposite boob which I am excited about because no more wasted milk or having to pump while nursing)
  • Nursing pillow
It may be beneficial to set these stations up before you actually go into labor that way they are already ready for when you come home from the hospital however if you are going to be using the hospital bins like I plan to then you can't really set up until afterwards.

If you found this post helpful or know someone who would, please share it! I have made this pinnable image below to make it easier to share and pin!!



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Monday, October 23, 2017

Bump Date | 39 Weeks with Baby No. Two


I decided to document our pregnancy as a way to get all my feelings and emotions out and to later look and remember this beautiful time in our lives while noticing the differences and similarities with our first pregnancy. I hope you enjoy if you decide to follow along on this life changing journey.


We made it to 39 weeks which if you actually calculated my pregnancy based on my last period I would technically be 40 weeks but my doctor calculated my pregnancy based on the size of the baby at my first appointment. However, due dates are a mere estimation and can be off by about two weeks so I could even be 41 weeks. Nevertheless, we are still waiting on baby boy. We did have our weekly appointment earlier this week and I was still 3CM dilated and blood pressure is still doing good. Baby boy's heart rate was a strong 142 and my doctor said he felt higher up, I guess he is as snug as a bug which I don't doubt with how much he balls up into my left ribs. I am still have Braxton Hicks randomly that I really think I'm going to think my body is crying wolf when real labor actually starts.

Another thought to cross my mind while we wait on our little guy is what if I am that 5% or whatever of women who actually go into labor on their due date. Of course, no matter how anxious we are for baby boy to make his arrival, we trust in the Lord's timing and are just happy we have gotten this far without medical interventions. Here is to praying that baby boy won't be stubborn and cause us to have interventions because he is taking too long now though, haha.






More Bump Dates from this Pregnancy:
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