What’s with the boho vibe this week? I think I’ve seen one too many maternity photo session ideas via Pinterest and jumped on the bandwagon myself. To be honest with you, I’d never wear this top out in public. I did just recently find it at Ross (super cheap) and thought it would read well in photographs because of its texture and the way it drapes over my belly. I’d really love to shoot a maternity session (haven’t done one yet) and I’ll be holding onto this top along with this lace number seen HERE for any mamas who’d like to borrow them for their photos.
I tried taking some solo shots of the belly the other day, but this little booger just had to jump in on the action. It was really sweet, actually. She said, “Mama, I want to take a picture with you! I’m beautiful, too!” I’m glad she felt so inclined to take part in these because let’s be honest, they’d be pretty boring without her.
Not much to report on the pregnancy front. I’m still big, still slow and still tired.
Over the past few days, my sleep has decided to become more restless. I wake up often to try to get comfortable, rolling from left to right and back again. This means I have to make myself get to sleep earlier since it’s getting more interrupted. No more 12am bedtime for me.
This week the baby has had a few major cases of the hiccups. I’ve sorta thought I had felt them before, but the last few episodes were so obvious that even Daddy Dom could feel them through the belly. And they lasted for so long, I felt so bad for the kid! I hope they’re not uncomfortable for him/her.
Well folks, we’ve got 6 more weeks of anticipation and preparations. I’m a procrastinator by nature and I really need to get my butt into gear to make sure all is ready for baby’s arrival (ugh, but all I want to do is relax! What happened to my “nesting” bug??).
I’d like to start off by pointing out that this list is my personal “wish list” for items that I’d like and love to have for baby #2. This is not one of those “newborn essentials” or “necessities” lists. I have an almost 3 year old so I already own a lot of the crucial items a new parent would need with a newborn (car seat, crib, pack n play, monitor, swing, bouncer, swaddle blankets, etc.).
A few of these products are replacement items for things I did have but either lost or trashed from wear and tear. Others are items that would just make life with a newborn a little easier (and prettier). Also, these items are all gender neutral since we are waiting to find out the sex of our baby until birth.
Check out the loot that I’ve got my eyes on this time around and read about why they made the cut. You’ll also be introduced to some Etsy shops that I stumbled upon in my search for baby items. I like to try to support handmade items when I can, especially when they’re affordable which I think everything on my list is.
I’m not personally familiar with each and every product on my list (some, yes) so if you have experience with it (good or bad), please comment and dish out the details. Suggestions, tips and other personal advice are widely welcome as well. Don’t be shy. Okay so here it is, my official gender neutral wish list for baby #2:
1. Munchkin Nursery Projector & Sound System: After reading reviews on pretty much every soothing noise maker for babies, I’ve settled with this one. All of them have a combo of positive and negative reviews and this one is no different. What I like is that it includes a projector and it’s very affordable. I figure if I’m going to spend money on a product like this that has a decent amount of negative reviews, I might as well spend less money on it since they all apparently have the potential to break down (according to reviews). With Mia, I put a rainforest soother (like this one) in her crib, but the sounds turned off too quickly (she wasn’t the easiest sleeper). I also didn’t like that she had access to turning it off/on because she’d do so in the middle of the night and stay awake to watch it. She ended up becoming too dependent on it and when the thing would run out of batteries, she’d throw a fit until we were able to replace them (which wasn’t easy or fast!). I’d love to give this Munchkin product a try with the new baby.
2. 3-pack Bodysuits: I chose neutral colored pieces since we don’t know the gender of our baby. I think these are really simple and sweet and will match with most colored bottoms, booties and other baby accessories. I think it’s important to note (especially for first time parents) that newborns basically live in simple onesies/bodysuits like these for at least the first month. I remember with Mia, picking out all kinds of adorable dresses and more detailed outfits in a newborn size, but they ended up getting such little use. You’re constantly changing diapers so dressing the baby in something simple and soft is really important. Plus, their skin is so delicate that I didn’t want to dress Mia in anything but the softest cotton. Advice: save those adorable dresses, outfits and multi-piece sets for older sizes, like 3-6 months and up.
3. Large Tummy Time/Play Mat: I have to admit that my home’s floors are dirtier than I’d like, more often than I’d like. It’s not easy cleaning up after 2 big dogs, cats, a toddler and a husband that tracks in dirt most days with his work boots (in landscaping/pond biz). I’m one woman and can only do so much, you know? Because of this, having a thick and large play mat for the baby to lay on, roll around on (eventually) and practice tummy time on is definitely a must around here. I like the size of this one, it will grow with my baby for a long time. I also think this print and color combo is not only perfect for a baby who’s gender is unknown but it also seems like it could be fitting for many home color schemes because of how simple and neutral it is.
4. Plated’s Food Delivery: Any parent with a newborn can tell you how much they don’t look forward to the chore of preparing dinner each evening. It often gets skipped and take-out/drive-thru becomes more regular in the first few weeks after returning home. Of course, having friends bring you pre-made meals is ideal but you can’t necessarily count on that (I don’t remember anyone bringing us food other than my mom, who lived close by at the time and makes bomb homemade anything). Plated is a company that has a weekly menu online for you to choose from and they mail you the ingredients and directions for your chosen meals in a matter of a few days. What I love about their menu is that every dish I’ve ever seen on their website is unique and unlike anything I’ve ever made for myself. I love food so their menu is always really appetizing to me. Yes, this still requires a bit of work for you because you do have to cook it all, but at least you don’t have to leave the house to go to the store/fast-food and the food itself tastes great and is much healthier and better tasting than fast food! And with step by step instructions (pictures included), you can’t really screw these meals up. If it sounds like I’ve tested their product before, it’s because I have. I was sent (months and months ago) the ingredients for 2 different meals and they were amazing. I’d definitely order from them again and I actually plan to when our baby arrives.
5. “Just Born” Bodysuit: I think this is such a cute little bodysuit to use in our gender announcement photo of our baby while we’re in the hospital. Clearly, this is a gender neutral piece but I’ve already purchased 2 infant beanies…one for a girl and one for a boy. They would pair up nicely with this item (which I haven’t purchased yet, btw).
6. Crocheted Baby Booties (in teal and grey): It doesn’t get any cuter than these. I’ve actually received these already for a product review for the Etsy shop, Simply Crafting Away. The shop carries a great variety of other affordable booties along with headbands, plush animals and a few other miscellaneous items. I can’t wait to try these on my baby. They’re so soft and are sure to keep his/her toesies warm and snug. Prepare yourself for adorable, newborn photos including these booties along with my full review of them in mid/late April.
7. Whale One-piece: Of course, after I put my image collage together…this item sells out over at Gap! I think this whale piece is the cutest but since it’s no longer available (and I don’t feel like going through the trouble of recreating my collage), here are links to 3 other one-pieces from Gap that are very sweet, gender neutral and perfectly simple and soft for any newborn: ONE, TWO, THREE.
8. Modern Wrap: So I’m a little bit obsessed with this new company that makes the most darling and chic carrier wraps for baby. I especially love this spotted wrap in black and white, which is currently backordered. I follow this company on Instagram (Here), and the images they share of real moms using their product have me hooked and really wanting one of my own. I hardly carried Mia in a wrap or carrier when she was a baby and it’s something I intend to do with baby #2.
9. Koi Diaper Changing Pad: If you know my family, then you know how perfect this little pad would be for us. My husband owns a pond company and works with ponds and Koi on a daily basis. Not only does this changing pad feature a koi fish print, but the colors are gender neutral (at least I think so). I think every new parent could benefit from a changing pad. I used one for Mia but I think we lost it over the years and are in need of something new. They’re great to lay down on any surface for those countless diaper changes that occur at any place and/or time, keeping the baby comfortable and clean.
10. “Rad Big Sis” Tee: How can I not include something for Mia in this roundup?! I love this hip little shirt that she can wear to the hospital the day her little baby sibling is born. And….probably every day after that for at least a few weeks. Okay, every other day. She’s so proud of becoming a big sister and this is a fun way to announce that to the world and to celebrate her new role in life.
11. Sleep Robe and Gown: Here we have another item that has sold out since I made this list only a few days ago! I searched all over the internet for an affordable nursing nightgown and robe set or pajama set and MAN are these expensive! I don’t get it, they’re pajamas made from simple cotton and have an easy access flap to the boob for baby. There’s nothing fancy about what I found but for whatever reason, the majority of it all ranged from $50 and up (unless something was on sale). This particular set I listed was on sale I believe, and since it’s gone here are a few other similar pieces: ONE, TWO. Lucky me, my mom just purchased a set for me the other day and is mailing it out soon.
12. Wubbanub: Love these! I used one for Mia but it was a monkey. She loved it and had such an easy time holding onto her paci at such a small age because it’s attached to the little stuffed animal. Once she got older and we weaned her off of the paci, we cut it from her monkey because she still loved it and wanted to hold onto it. This elephant is perfect for either gender and is a must-buy for our baby #2.
13. Changing Pad Cover: If you have a changing pad (which we already do from Mia), then you’ll need a cover. The one I listed here is really cute and completely gender neutral. However, I think for this item I’d like to wait to see what gender our baby is before purchasing one. I’m just a big fan of this Etsy shop (ModFox) and I love their selection of baby items. If we have a boy, I’d chose THIS cover. If it’s a girl I’d chose THIS cover.
14. Timi & Leslie Diaper Bag: I spent a good amount of time searching for the ultimate diaper bag. Wow, there are so many out there, it’s really hard to choose just one. But, if you don’t have a money tree growing in your backyard, you’d have to pick only one. For me, I’ve narrowed it down to this Dawn 7-piece diaper bag set in caramel. It retails for $149.99 which I think is a great deal since it also includes: a zippered sac to put away soiled cloths, a stylish clutch you can use as your purse, an insulated bottle tote, matching stroller straps to hang it from your stroller, a specially designed changing pad, a cross body, adjustable, detachable strap to wear the bag hands free and of course, the bag itself. It really seems like the makers of this bag thought of everything a new parent would need on-the-go. The best part is that it’s also very attractive and fashionable so you won’t have to carry around your purse as well…which is what I ended up doing with Mia because I chose a cheap and unattractive bag with her. The other great benefit from choosing a bag that you really love is that you’ll get so much more use out of it, even after the baby no longer needs a “diaper bag”. Then it just turns into the toys, snacks, games bag or mom’s new photography/camera bag or simply your new purse. I’d love to tote this bag around with baby #2 (hint, hint Daddy Dom!).
15. Baby Leggings – I’ve seen similar leggings as these, all over my Instagram feed and Pinterest, but they always end up costing an arm and a leg for some reason! I just can’t get myself to spend $30 on leggings that my baby will only fit in for a few months. That’s why I had to include these leggings because they’re just as cute and sweet but half the price! Leggings are a total necessity for babies and toddlers because they’re easy to get on and off for changings and are so soft and comfortable for the kid to move around and play in. This Etsy shop (Dream Elephant) has a lot of other really cute selections that are affordable as well, check them out.
16. Duffle Bag: “The Pike” is the perfect bag for my hospital stay. This item is listed in my “wish list” because I’m in need of a good sized weekender or duffle bag and since baby #2 is coming in about 6 more weeks, I figure it’s perfect timing to start looking for one…for the hospital stay, of course.
*BONUS ITEM: Burp Cloths: I’ve got plenty of these bad boys which is why I didn’t include them in my wish list. But if I didn’t have them, I’d totally check out the this Etsy shop (Momista & Pop Shop) for their hand sewn, super cute products! See what I did there? Shamelessly plugging away at my personal Etsy shop…don’t mind if I do :)
Mia: Her “purple bike” was handed down to us by a friend months ago. Daddy Dom and I tried introducing it to her countless times. We’d mention the bike to her almost every time we went into the backyard to play and she would turn it down each time. She really did have zero interest in the thing, wouldn’t even touch it. Now, I’d say for the past few weeks, she doesn’t want to get off of it. Every single day, at all times of the day, she asks if she can go outside to ride her “purple bike.”
I think this has much to do with her being in preschool. They have push cars and similar bikes that the kids get to ride during playtime outside and Mia’s been watching them for months now. I think that seeing the other kids, kids her age, ride around on bikes gave her enough courage to try it, too. Her particular bike is a balance bike with no petals. She sits on it and uses her feet to kick and push off of the ground to get the momentum going. She’s at the point now where she’ll pick her feet up and glide as long as the bike will let her before she needs to push some more. And, she’s stinkin’ fast. She falls down a few times here and there, but she always gets back on and tries again. Her self-confidence in her riding skills has skyrocketed in such a quick amount of time, it’s so rewarding to watch it grow each day. Makes a parent proud, that’s for sure.
Baby: I mentioned in my 33 week bump update that we have finally come up with names for the baby, whether it’s a boy or a girl. I’m not sharing those names with ya’ll until the baby is here, but something I will share is my vision (currently, at least) for the baby’s nursery theme/color scheme.
If baby is a girl, I’m thinking of going with a specific color scheme, rather than a theme. I’m so in love with the combination of peach, blush, soft coral, rose gold, gold and even hints of black. These links show exactly that joining of colors so perfectly: ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR. If the baby is a boy, I think the perfect theme for his room will be a reflection of Daddy Dom’s most favorite passion: the outdoors. I haven’t completely settled on a specific color combo yet (there are ideas for sure), but I do know some basic elements and vibes that will be included: wilderness, camping, the outdoors, fishing and earth tones with some pop of color (possibly kelly green?). These links have definitely inspired my vision for the nursery: ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR. Without knowing the sex of the baby, it’s hard to daydream about who this little person is. Imagining these two possible nursery themes helps me feel a bit more connected to the baby by giving him/her a bit of an identity, if that makes any sense at all. And well, it’s also just fun to daydream about decorating any room, really.
*The 52 Project: A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015*
Linking up with:
As I type this, my belly is looking a lot like a rolling water bed. Such a bizarre sight and sensation that I could never get used to. It’s magical, miraculous, bizarre and quite creepy. Movement with this little one is still incredibly strong and often.
So at 33 weeks along now, the baby is apparently the size of a pineapple. I’ve also read that it’s normal for me to feel a tingling or numbness in my wrists or hands. I don’t remember feeling this with Mia, but I’ve definitely been feeling this with baby #2, except these sensations travel all through my arms. I was actually concerned about it but am relieved now to read that it’s common.
The only other major difference I’ve noticed from last week to this one is my energy level. I’m tired/sleepy from the time I wake up to the time I go back to bed at night, it seems. I’ve tried eating a more wholesome breakfast to get my body off to the right start (adding more fruit to cereal, a super healthy bowl of oatmeal with all of the fixings, eggs, fruit smoothies, etc.) but it really doesn’t seem to make any difference. My movements have slowed down dramatically and getting up and down from any position has become such a pain (literally) and is actually a little humorous to witness (but don’t you dare let me catch you laughing). I haven’t begun to take up naps again (while Mia naps) but I think that’s something I’m going to give a try next week.
We still don’t know the sex of the baby, although most people are guessing it’s a boy from the appearance of my belly. I went through a period of anxiety over not knowing a few weeks ago but that has slowly disappeared and I’m back to being okay with our decision. We’ve had a boy’s name picked out since probably the first month of pregnancy but a girl’s name has been a big challenge. At the beginning of this week, I basically made myself sit in front of my computer to search the web for every possible girl name imaginable until I had a decent list of possibilities. I’m relieved to say that we have a small list of names (along with middle names) that we’ve been trying on this week and we’ll wait to see the baby’s face before deciding on one (if she’s a girl, that is). Such a weight lifted!
We have about 7 more weeks left until we meet our new baby, but Daddy Dom insists he/she is coming early. He thinks about 10 days early. I’m now starting to feel a bit of urgency to get some things in order for his/her arrival. Our latest headache that Dominic and I have been trying to figure out is coming up a with a few different plans that cover the supervision of Mia if we should have to rush to the hospital in the middle of the night. Other preparations that need to be addressed soon are: packing the hospital bag, digging out our infant car seat and installing it in my car and assembling the baby’s bassinet where he/she will be sleeping for the first few weeks/months of life. Hopefully I’ll get at least one of these goals met in the coming week.
This week, I couldn’t choose just one portrait of my bebes to feature. These came from a little photo session I did on my own this week (you can see the rest of the photos HERE), and these two just captured the sweetness of Mia and her little brother/sister so well. The baby isn’t even here yet and already he/she is closely bonded to his/her big sister. I can’t wait to see them interact in person but we all have about 7 more weeks to go. Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy these little belly kisses and snuggles.
*The 52 Project: A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015*
Linking up with:
I had an ultrasound today. It’s actually been a long time since the last. I’m always amazed at how much the technician can identify from what looks like such a mess of lines and shapes. At this point in the pregnancy, it was pretty easy for me to pinpoint all of the baby ‘s parts (ahem, except for his/her private area…yup, still a mystery!). The baby is also head-down and in position for his/her big debut. Within the first few seconds of peeking in on this little peanut, I got the best view of his/her sweet face. I could totally make out the eyes, cheeks, lips and nose. He/she looked like an actual baby! I wonder if he/she felt my heart skip a beat at that moment. Such an amazing sight.
This kid is super active, something I’ve been saying ever since I felt the first few bumps. The technician got a first hand view of this and was surprised at how much activity was taking place. We watched the baby rotate a few times while she was trying to observe the heart. We also watched the baby put his/her hands into the mouth a few times. Apparently I’ve got plenty of amniotic fluid for this kid to do all of the water aerobics he/she wants.
Overall, the baby is growing just fine. A little too fine, according to the computer. Measurements show that the baby is already at 5 lbs and something ounces. On average, the baby is supposed to be 4 lbs. The computer also adjusted the due date from April 8th to anywhere between March 15th to April 7th and the technician predicts the baby to weigh around 8 3/4 – 9 lbs! I know that these early predictions are often incorrect which is why I’m not worried at all about size/weight/due date. We’ll be ready for whatever, whenever.
Aside from my appointment, I don’t have anything all that new to report. I have felt occasional Braxton Hicks contractions about every other day. I’m so much more in tune with them in this pregnancy. They’re not painful and are completely normal. It just feels like increasing pressure and tightening in my uterus. Almost like it’s flexing for about 10 seconds or so before releasing. I wonder if this is any indication as to what the baby’s gender is? Flexing…sounds like typical male behavior.
And on a side note, I was looking over these photos with my husband and was commenting on how pleased I am with the curves of my pregnant body. I truly love the shape and roundness of my belly. And then…I may have said that maybe he should just keep me pregnant, like all of the time. The room fell silent after that.