Monday, September 3, 2018

It's A Girl!


Shop the Look

Dress: Shein (get it here; size up if you're larger in the bust!) // Shoes: Old Navy (similar here and here) // Necklace: Kendra Scott (get it here)

As most, if not all of you already know, we are having a baby girl! I am so very excited. Throughout this pregnancy, I had a feeeeeeeling it was a girl, but I also thought Henrik was a girl so I tried not to put too much stock into my "feeling". I've always wanted to have at least one boy and one girl so I thought it would be convenient to have a girl next since I do NOT plan on being pregnant again for a GOOD LONG WHILE. But at the same time, I also loooooove baby boys so I really wasn't going to be disappointed either way. Plus since my due dates are literally identical, I thought it would be nice if it was a boy to be able to re-use virtually his entire wardrobe. Much conflicted feelings.

A few weeks leading up to our anatomy scan, I started having incredibly vivid dreams that I was having a girl. To the point that I would wake up CONVINCED that we already knew it was a girl. From that point on, it was reeeeaaallly hard to not keep thinking of the baby as "she". I tried to not use female pronouns when thinking about the baby in my head, but it happened anyway.

The day before our ultrasound seriously felt like Christmas Eve. I could not WAIT to find out. My appointment was pretty early in the day so I dropped off Henrik at my mom's house shortly after he woke up and headed to the doctor's office. Chris was able to join me for the ultrasound, which was so great. Monday mornings are usually crazy busy for him with work and meetings so I was really grateful he was able to slip away.

The ultrasound itself took fooooorever. It was one of the longest ultrasounds I had ever had (about an hour). The baby was not being terribly cooperative so examining and getting images of each part took several attempts. The ultrasound tech had me rolling from side to side, changing positions and incline, using the bathroom, etc. etc. in an effort to try and get the baby to a good spot. FIIIIINALLY, the tech said that she kept seeing "three white lines", which I knew meant a girl! She said she wasn't totally confident, but she didn't see anything to make her think it was a boy. With Henrik, it was super obvious right away that he was definitely a boy so the ambiguity made me a bit nervous. Before we left the ultrasound room, she asked how confident she was that it was a girl and she said 90%, which was good enough for us!

As excited as I was to hear that we were having a girl, I walked out of the doctor's office after my appointment and saw a dad in the waiting room holding a brand new baby boy and my heart broke just a tiny bit. But I'm sure that would have happened if I had found out we were having a boy and I saw a brand new baby girl right after too haha. I JUST WANT ALL THE BABIES.

It was VERY difficult to not tell my mom the gender when I went to pick up Henrik, but I wanted to tell her and my dad at the same time that evening. When we found out with Henrik, they were out of town so we had to Facetime them, which was fun! But telling people in person is always way better.

That afternoon, I made gender reveal cupcakes so when you bit into them, the icing inside was pink. I'm nooooot a super crafty baker person, but I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. Later that night we went to our good family friends' house with my parents and everyone bit into the cupcakes at the same time to see that it was a girl! It was so great to be able to celebrate with my parents and our friends whose kids are basically the closest thing I have to younger siblings. Everyone was obviously very excited and we had a good time visiting with each other.

Now that we know it's a girl, I've had fun buying headbands, floral blankets, and a few outfits. I plan to still reuse a lot of Henrik's clothes and just put a girly headband on her to make her look more definitively like a girl. I've also made a few purchases for her nursery, but we are going to be moving everything currently in the closet/storage room into a new room we are converting in our garage so that Henrik can have his own "big boy" room and the baby can stay in the nursery. I'm really hoping we can get the room in our garage constructed soon so I can start all the big projects that will be involved with setting up the kids' rooms. Also kids????? I still can't wrap my head around having TWO babies!! It bloooows my mind.

Everything else pregnancy-wise is going well, although my sciatic nerve pain is making an earlier appearance than I would like (I only struggled with it the last month of my previous pregnancy) so I've started going back to the chiropractor for regular adjustments and that's been helping. Hoping my body doesn't totally fall apart yet!

As always, thank you all for your support throughout this pregnancy! It's so great to share my excitement with everyone.

Watching: Project Runway
Enjoying: Our day off! It's been so great to have Chris around so I can actually get a bunch of things (like blogging) done.
Hoping: I can maybe still fit in a catnap this afternoon.
Days Until Christmas/Baby: 113!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

I'm Pregnant! Again!

Hello, blog readers! I can't believe it's been such a long time since my last post. A combination of my laptop dying (yet to be replaced) and a rough first trimester (more on that later) plus a VERY busy toddler (who I'm also legitimately obsessed with) led to blogging taking a backseat for a little while. The break was nice, but I'm hoping to post a bit more regularly so that I can document this pregnancy like I did Henrik's. I love looking back at those old posts so I'm planning to do my best to record as much as possible! I'm also trying to post pretty regularly on Instagram so feel free to check out my account there for more frequent updates on life, clothes, etc.

I thought I'd share the journey to getting pregnant, much like I did when I announced my first pregnancy, and update you guys on how the last 17 ish weeks have gone as well as share a few photos. Hope you all enjoy!

Shortly after having Henrik, I knew that I wanted to have another soon ish. Chris was on board with this but we both felt like I definitely needed to try and get through a whole year of breastfeeding before even trying since many women's cycles won't even return until their babies are weaned/many women have to stop breastfeeding after getting pregnant.

Later that year, Henrik's first birthday was fast approaching and I could not get the idea of having another out of my head. Chris was starting to feel ready for another one too so after praying about it, we decided I'd go off birth control and see what happened. My cycle hadn't returned but I thought maybe once going off bc I'd be able to "catch" that first ovulation and get pregnant right away.

Later that month I was having all sorts of weird symptoms that led my OB and me to believe that I was likely pregnant. I took a test Christmas Day and it appeared to be positive. I couldn't believe it. I called my OB and she had me come in to confirm everything. She was so convinced I was pregnant that she started going over all the first trimester info and congratulating me. I was so excited, but wanted to wait until my blood test results showed that I definitely was pregnant before really believing it.

The next day, the nurse called and said that my results showed absolutely no hCG (the pregnancy hormone) in my blood. Not even a little bit. Meaning, not only was I not pregnant now, I hadn't been recently either. No miscarriage, no chemical pregnancy, nothing. I was shocked. So was the nurse. So was my doctor. No one could explain it. The only possibility my doctor said was that my hormones were all wacky from going off bc a few weeks prior and that it somehow resulted in a false positive (which are pretty rare). We were all disappointed, but trusted that everything would work out when it was supposed to.

The next few months were filled with tracking symptoms, a bout of mastitis (thought I was probably going to die haha), and a million pregnancy tests. With no cycle to base anything off of, I knew that I could be pregnant at anytime so I just kept taking ovulation and pregnancy tests. Henrik was night-weaned and only nursing two to three times a day at the most but I still had no period. I had my regular OB check-up in March and she told me my cycle probably wouldn't return until he was 100% weaned and even then it could take a few months for my cycle to actually show up. I figured by April or beginning of May we would be done breastfeeding and then maybe over the summer we'd be able to get pregnant.

About two weeks after my appointment, on March 20th, my period randomly showed up. I was flabbergasted because I was still nursing. I texted Chris excitedly because I knew this meant we had a legitimate shot at getting pregnant now. I inputed my info into Ava (I'll do a whole post on the Ava bracelet another day!) and it predicted when I would ovulate. I knew there was a decent possibility it wouldn't predict correctly my fertile window since it didn't have much data to go off of with only one cycle, but I figured we had nothing to lose by trying.

Lo and behold on April 14th, my pregnancy test came back positive. AFTER ONE CYCLE! Chris and I, again, could not believe it. It took six months to get pregnant with Henrik so I really thought that it would take at least two or three months, but nope. I then realized that March 20th was the first date of my last period before getting pregnant with Henrik as well, hence the Christmas Day due date (again). What are the odds, seriously?

Chris and Henrik weren't home when I found out I was pregnant but as soon as they came back, I went into the kitchen and just smiled at Chris.

Chris: "Why are you smiling like that?"

Me: *still smiling*

Chris: "What did you buy?"

Me: "Nothing!"


We hugged and then turned to Henrik and told him he was going to be a big brother. He pooped.

I then made Chris go to Target to grab a World's Best Brother shirt for Henrik to wear and we went over to my parents' house to share the good news. I had made a batch of brownies and spelled out "Baby No. 2" in cheerios and was going to unveil it after they noticed Henrik's shirt.

He was wearing a zip-up jacket over his shirt when we arrived so I asked my dad to take it off of him. Which he did. But my dad did not notice the shirt and neither did my mom. Finally, my mom suspected something and asked him to bring Henrik into the kitchen where we were all standing. They then noticed the shirt, we unveiled the brownies, and there was much rejoicing.

We told my siblings over Facetime the next day by having Henrik wear the same shirt. Both couples noticed pretty quickly what his shirt said, so they get points for that. Henrik acted very excited when everyone exclaimed, but he has absolutely no idea what's coming.

The next few weeks were a blur. I was exhausted and extremely nauseous all the time. It was really discouraging and difficult to deal with, especially since Henrik is so active. I would literally just lay on the couch most of the day and watch Henrik play in our house and read books to him. If we wanted to go on an outing, my mom usually had to come over and help me get him ready because I was so weak. My anxiety levels were also really high for about three weeks, which resulted in a lot of tears and me simply not feeling like myself. Mercifully, Henrik essentially weaned himself a week or two after finding out I was pregnant so I didn't have to deal with feeling horrible and still breastfeeding him.

The only thing that seemed to stave off the nausea was eating, but nothing sounded good (one of the great paradoxes of pregnancy). Occasionally, I would have a craving for something specific and would feel better after eating it, but not often. Some of my cravings included: Chocolate, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, fruit smoothies, yogurt, graham crackers, Panda Express, chicken salad sandwiches, waffles and Nutella, cheese, and chips.

Overall, I am feeling much better but I still have rough days here and there. My symptoms are similar to what I experienced with Henrik, but they are much more extreme and have definitely lasted a lot longer. I'm cautiously optimistic that the worst of it is over, but I don't want to jinx it. I am incredibly grateful that Chris was able to help so much once he got home from work and on weekends and that my parents live so close. They were an enormous help to me as were a few friends who knew about the pregnancy (and some who didn't). I honestly don't think we would have made it without everyone's help. Henrik was well-taken care of during my dark days and that was such a blessing.

In a few weeks, we will find out if it's a boy or girl! We will be so excited either way. I have a hunch about what it is, but I have been wrong before ;) So we will see! It's been fun to celebrate this pregnancy even more now that I'm feeling better. I think once we know boy or girl it will feel more real as we can start planning, picking out names, and making any necessary purchases. That ultrasound can't come soon enough! I'm also very much looking forward to graduating from lumpy, how-many-tacos-did-she-eat belly to cute, definitely pregnant belly. I started showing MUCH sooner than I did with Henrik and am already having trouble fitting into my non-maternity clothes. I love summer, but will be happy when the weather cools down a bit and I can just wear leggings everyday.

In the meantime, I am soaking up every day I get where I can solely focus on Henrik. He is truly the most incredible little boy and he never ceases to make me smile and laugh. Chris and I are so obsessed with him and love this stage he is in. I know that he is going to make an incredible big brother.

As always, thank you all for the love and support you have shown us! We really enjoy getting to share our lives with all of you and appreciate all that you have done for us. I will keep you guys posted on gender as well as how these next few months go! Stay tuned :)

And now, for some photos!

I could probably become a professional brownie-decorator.

Cutest big brother in the whole universe. 

Mother's Day 2018, trying to artfully hide my bump.

We were so lucky our Florida trip (which we had planned MONTHS ago) happened at a good time to take pregnancy announcement photos! We obviously wished we could have had Henrik in the pictures with us, but it was really nice to have a week just the two of us (our first couple trip since having him!).

Belly belly belly

My friend Kim (check out her photography site here!) and I had planned this photoshoot before I was pregnant so once I found out, she was one of the first people I told so we could do the shoot before my bump was too noticeable. She's the best!

Same story with this shoot I did with my friend Victoria! She had asked me to help write and pose for a blog post about what brides should wear to their bridal shower (check out the post here!) so we had to do the shoot ASAP and make a few alterations to some of the outfits and get creative with my poses so my bump wasn't as prevalent (hence the jean jacket). She will also be doing our birth photos again and I can't WAIT!

Craving: Some really good chips & salsa.
Happy: That Chris is back after being gone all week!
Planning: To have dinner with friends this evening.
Days Until Christmas/Baby #2: 164!

Monday, December 18, 2017

UPPAbaby VISTA & MESA Review!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

Hunk looking cute & comfy in his car seat while out for a walk.

It's impossible to not be happy while using this stroller!

When I was going through the daunting task of figuring out what baby products and gear I wanted to get in anticipation of Henrik's birth, I knew that a good car seat and stroller system would be very high on my list. These are items that you use a TON with a baby and there is a wide range of quality, features, etc. so I knew it would require a fair amount of research to figure out exactly what I wanted. I talked to many friends, test-drove a few strollers, read online reviews, etc. and finally settled on the UPPAbaby VISTA stroller and MESA car seat. There are a lot of features this travel system has that appealed to me. They included:

1. Stroller is easy to collapse and set up by myself
2. Car seat is easy to install safely and properly
3. Car seat fits into stroller
4. Stroller adapts to hold two kids (and can even accommodate a third with a little platform for them to stand on)

I was ecstatic when UPPAbaby said they wanted to work with me! I love their brand and products so I knew I couldn't pass up on this opportunity. Even before this partnership came along, my husband and I had already planned on purchasing this stroller and travel system because we felt it would be such a good fit for our family. And seriously, it hasn't disappointed!

Most importantly, Henrik is safe in this car seat and stroller and comfortable. He has never had issues with hating his car seat or stroller (which is such a huge blessing. Idk what we would have done if he had hated it).

If it's in your budget and you are looking for a travel system that has some of these features (ESPECIALLY if you plan on having kids close ish together and don't want a double-wide stroller), I would 100% recommend this system. It's been so great for us and I've been nothing but impressed with its quality and all the features it has to offer.
Probably my favorite thing about the car seat is how easy it is to install the base. We have a base for both of our cars but we often switch my base into my mom's car for errands and trips to Indy and it is so easy to do! And it tells you if it is installed correctly. I never had to worry about whether or not I had done it right because it was so easy to tell with their green/red click function. Installing a base and car seat seemed SO scary to me but it was very simple with the MESA.

As I mentioned earlier, the car seat seamlessly locks into the stroller so we never have to get Henrik out of the car seat and into a separate stroller seat if he has fallen asleep in the car (SO NICE). It takes hardly any time to get him safely locked into the stroller. And I'm all about as little "hassle" as possible when it comes to baby stuff. The VISTA does come with a bassinet attachment, which I wasn't sure at first if we would use or not. But guess what? We used it a ton! We kept the bassinet at my mom's house and Henrik would nap in it and then on trips to Indy, I would put him in the bassinet locked into the stroller so he could have a little bit more movement and freedom after being in the car seat for an hour plus on the drive down to Indy.

We have even taken both the car seat and stroller on various vacations this last year and while that certainly made us have a LOT of luggage for three people, it was well worth it. I didn't have to worry about trying to find another stroller or car seat to use and figure out while vacationing. We were able to get off the plane, pick up our stuff, set up the car seat in a matter of minutes in our rental car (you don't even have to use the base since there is a way to install it using a seatbelt), and we were good to go! And since we did so much walking while in NYC and California, it was really nice to have our stroller. It glides and maneuvers so easily and has plenty of storage for going out and about. The travel case UPPAbaby sells for the stroller is definitely worth getting, in my opinion. It kept our stroller totally safe and it acts as insurance for your stroller if it gets damaged in transit (luckily, this has never happened to us).

UPPAbaby's customer service is also fantastic. They really care about their customers and are always there to answer questions and help make sure your baby is safe. Seriously my only complaint is that they don't make a convertible car seat! I am so sad that Henrik has almost outgrown his MESA. Maybe by the time I have another baby they'll have a convertible one available :)

Of allllllllll our baby gear, our VISTA and MESA top the list of our favorite products. So functional, stylish, and high quality. It has really helped make our transition into parenthood that much easier. I will forever be an UPPAbaby fan! If you have ANY questions about my experience with this stroller and car seat, please let me know! I'd be more than happy to talk about it. And if you're local and want to see either in action, we can arrange that too!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. The opinions and text are all mine.

Friday, September 29, 2017

5 Fall Trends


With being a mom and all the time-consuming responsibilities that come with that, I've been trying not to put excessive pressure on myself. That includes not stressing about blogging all the time. But I wanted to take some time to share some purchases I've made for this fall and talk about some trends to be on the lookout for! My day-to-day life is much different than it was a year ago so I'm trying to buy things that work for my new lifestyle while still being fashionable.

As an aside, now that the weather is cooling down and Henrik is more or less on a rough schedule, it'll be easier to take more blog photos to use for outfit posts. Be on the lookout for some of those in the upcoming weeks!

Here are some trends I am totally digging this season:

1. Velvet Anything: I am loooooving all of the velvet pieces that are coming out this season! I bought this skirt from Anthropologie and I am ridiculously obsessed with it (also comes in a black pattern!). It can be paired with lots of different colored tops/jackets/booties and can be dressed up or down with ease.  Plus pleated midi skirts are everywhere this season too. And rightly so! They're so cute and flattering.

I also recently got a velvet patterned top from Target! It's soft and can be thrown on with jeans or olive pants. For some reason, it isn't showing up online but it's this same top but in pink. Hopefully it gets put online soon! You can also check your local Target to see if they have it.

I also got this cute velvet pouch to keep inside my bigger purses and diaper bags to corral my stuff in. This soft pink color is going to be a staple for me this season!

2. Baseball Hats: Since my hair only gets really "done" like once or twice a week, baseball hats have been lifesavers for me. They coverup my scraggly hair and still look cute. Bonus: Henrik thinks they are FASCINATING. I have this one from Target and this one from Gigi Pip (on sale for $20!).

3. High-waist Jeans: Now that I'm more or less back to pre-baby size, I thought it might be a good time to buy some new jeans (haven't bought new non-maternity ones in a long time). I decided I really wanted to invest in some good quality ones that fit well and are comfortable (not always an easy task). I tried on lots of different pairs and fell in love with this one and this one from Madewell. I loooove how flattering high-waist jeans are and these look and feel great on. I also scored this pair from Abercrombie for $35 when they had a sale! I'll probably end up snagging another pair or two next time they're marked down.

4. Faux Leather: I got a cognac faux-leather jacket last year for Christmas and wore it a bunch so I'm excited to break it out again this year! The neutral color is very versatile and it quickly glams up any outfit. Here are a few similar ones here, here, and here.

I also got this faux-leather bag from Target a few days ago and I really like it. It looks pretty good for only $40 and has some nice storage features. It's a great size for moms since you can stuff a few baby essentials in there too.

5. Knotted Tees/Dresses: No longer do you have to try and half-tuck or knot your shirts and dresses, they come already done for you! This $22 top is affordable and comes in a bunch of colors. I've already worn my pink one a bunch and am contemplating grabbing a few other colors as well. The knot adds great visual interest to any outfit with minimal effort.

I got this knotted dress online a few weeks ago in black and I really like how the knot detail makes it a step-up from just a standard LBD. It's a great blank canvas for fall and will look great with a moto jacket and booties.

And here are some other recent purchases I've made that I've been super pleased with:

Happy fall shopping!

About: To play with Henrik! He's been so much fun lately.
Hoping: Chris will get to come home early today. 
Excited: To see Hamilton this weekend GAAAAAHHH. 
Days Until Christmas: 87!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Henrik's Nursery Reveal with Naturepedic!

Get this adorable crib sheet from KB Cute here! She sent it to me c/o and I LOOOOOOVE it!

The view from the chair. I spend a lot of time looking at this corner of the room. 

Happy to just play in his crib!

You may recognize this fox from his monthly milestone photos.

My friend Jenna had this print done for my baby shower!

My favorite little guy.

We got these cute little animal prints from this artist in Israel last fall!

Moccasins from Freshly Picked

Shop the Nursery

Here it is, Henrik's nursery! For limited resources/time/crafting-ability, I am pretty pleased with how it turned out :) Side note: I'm well aware that these photos aren't going to be winning any photography awards haha I'm just starting to venture into taking photos indoors and it's going to be a work in progress as I learn. If you have any tips, feel free to send them my way!

But anyway! I like that the nursery is pretty neutral, but still has a theme and some character. We started with the National Parks posters (each park having special meaning to us; get them here) and based the design around that. We are incredibly grateful to all of the retailers who helped us outfit Henrik's room! Especially, Naturepedic!

I knew having an organic crib mattress was really important to me for a few reasons. Henrik would be spending a LOT of time on that surface so I wanted to be sure everything he was in contact with or would breathe would be safe for him. I had very sensitive skin as a child (and still do, in some respects) so I am always careful of anything I put on Henrik's skin. I researched a lot of brands and was instantly drawn to Naturepedic's organic mattresses because of their commitment to using natural materials for their mattresses without compromising support, quality, and softness. They care about my child's safety, healthy, and quality of sleep and to me, that is incredibly important. You can read more about their brand here, the importance of having organic products for babies and kids here, why they're different here, and shop their products here.

Henrik slept in a bassinet for about the first six months of his life and I was very nervous about how he would transition into his crib and onto his new mattress, but it was a surprisingly easier transition than I thought it would be! The biggest struggle was getting him used to not being swaddled, but we started putting him in a Zipadee-Zip and after a few very rough days of bad naps and waking up a lot in the middle of the night, he eventually got used to it and now (overall) sleeps really well in his crib!

Near as I can tell, he loves the Ultra Breathable 2-Stage Organic Crib Mattress (this is the exact one we have)! Hahah. It holds its shape well but is still soft enough to be comfortable (but not too soft, because that wouldn't be safe). Sometimes when he is being fussy, he will refuse to be put down on the ground to play with toys. BUT he hardly ever fusses if I put him in the crib to play. He loves to roll around and play with his toys in there while I clean up around the house. I think the mattress being so comfortable for him has made a huge difference with his willingness to hang out in there!

If you are in the market for a new mattress either for yourself or your baby/kid, I would highly recommend looking into Naturepedic. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email!

Just: Watched the solar eclipse! It was so cool!
Feeling: Grateful my friend was able to bring by some eclipse glasses at the last minute!
Watching: Henrik crawl around our (freshly cleaned) kitchen floor.
Days Until Christmas: 126!!!

This post was sponsored by Naturepedic, all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Breastfeeding Essentials with Bravado Designs

I've gotten lots of questions from pregnant and nursing friends regarding what I wear to nurse in and what things have helped me as I've breastfed Henrik the last seven months. I figured the easiest way to share what has worked best for me is through a post devoted to nursing!

Before I get started, keep in mind though that what works best for me, may not work for you. I got tons of advice on nursing bras, clothes, tanks, etc. from friends before having Henrik and some things have worked better for us than others. It's all trial and error, really! As is 99% percent of parenting. Anyway these are just some ideas :)

So first and foremost, it's important for you guys to know that I choose to not nurse in public if I can help it (this obviously means I have much more flexibility in what I wear). I have ZERO problems with other women nursing in public, really truly. I love it when others breastfeed while out and about, I'm just not comfortable or confident enough to do it myself. Especially in the early months when Henrik required a lot of hands-on help from me to nurse. Nursing in the beginning was stressful enough as is so doing it in public added even more stress that I just didn't want to deal with if I didn't have to. Now it's a lot easier, so we could probably do it if necessary (and have a few times).

Whenever we travel, in particular, I try to make sure I wear something that is easy to nurse in should something happen and nursing is the only way to feed him. This generally means a loose shirt that is easy to pull up and high-waisted pants or leggings that provide more coverage. Dresses with buttons also work great. I'm always sure to have our Covered Goods nursing cover with us too for emergency nursing situations.

But what I have found to work best for us is to just feed him right before leaving the house and then bringing pumped milk along with us in a bottle if I know we'll be out long enough that he'll get hungry again. He's also now eating solid foods so that gives us some more flexibility with what he can eat while we are away from home.

So when we are home, I prefer to just take off my entire outfit (or at least just my top if I'm wearing comfy leggings or sweats) and nurse him in my underwear and/or robe. I like to be as comfortable as possible since I often end up holding Henrik for a while after he eats and dozes off.  And since I'm just in our house, I don't have to worry about being put-together. It makes my life a lot simpler if I am not planning my days' clothes entirely around nursing. I totally recognize not everyone's lifestyle allows them to do that, so I'm just enjoying it while I can! It'll be harder to only nurse at home or my parents' house when we (hopefully) have more kids.

Bravado Designs was kind enough to send me some awesome nursing bras and tanks for me to try and I was super impressed! They sent me some that pull to the side and the clip-down variety. I've tried both kinds and I think I prefer the clip-down bras and tanks. I have a hard time getting the pull kind to stay out of the way, but I have lots of friends who like that kind better so just try both and see what you like!

I think my favorite item they sent me was the Nursing Cami (get it here!). It's plenty long so there's lots of coverage and it's nice and tight without being uncomfortable (it has a very slimming and smoothing effect haha). It's also really soft and provides ample support with ZERO wires! Plus the straps are convertible so they can be criss-cross, if that's your style. It could easily be worn out and about layered or just as loungewear to bed. You can tell that all of their products are made of really high-quality material and will hold up really well with all the use that nursing bras/tanks inevitably get. I'm definitely going to be getting more of their camis. These would be especially great for when you're in the hospital because you don't need a top or anything over it!

They also sent me the Ballet Bra (get it here!), which is ideal for sleeping. It offers light support and adjustable straps. Plus it's also super soft and comfortable! And then the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra (get it here!) is also great because it has removable foam inserts depending on your shape and fit preference and it includes a "conversion kit" to turn it into a regular bra when you're done breastfeeding. How handy is that??

What also really like about Bravado is that they provide VERY easy instructions on how to measure yourself to ensure that you get just the right size. I followed the step-by-step guide and everything fits perfectly! I would definitely recommend any of their products. You can learn more about their line of nursing items and purchase them on their website here!

Other items that have been helpful to me for nursing:

Boppy (get it here): Loooooove ours. Makes nursing much more comfortable for both of us. And we got this cute cover for it!

Lansinoh Nursing Pads (get them here): Helps protect my bras from the inevitable milk leakage.

Medela Harmony Pump (get it here): I've tried an electric pump and this hand pump and the hand pump wins by a landslide. I love that it doesn't have to be plugged into an outlet so I can pump easily in the car or wherever we may be. Much easier to clean too! And soooooooooooo much cheaper.

Robe: I have a toooon of robes but I think my favorite one for nursing is a black one from Nordstrom that is sadly sold out. BUT this one is nearly identical! And on sale. The dark color hides stains well, it's very soft and lightweight, and nice and long so I feel covered/cozy.

MAM Pacifiers (get them here): After Henrik is done nursing, I can pop this in his mouth seamlessly and it soothes him to sleep so I don't have to be the human pacifier.

Nightgowns: I wear one of these to bed every night (I have several and will probably be buying more). They are RIDICULOUSLY soft and pull down easily for nursing access in the middle of the night. You can wear any bra of your choice underneath easily or no bra, depending on what you're comfortable with.

I know that not everyone who wants to breastfeed gets to so I feel very fortunate that Henrik and I have been able to with relatively few issues. We definitely have had our hard weeks and frustrating moments, but now it is overall much easier for both of us and for that I am really grateful. But of course, fed is best! So never feel guilty about how you feed your baby <3 Whatever you do, you'll get no judgment from me and I hope from no one else!

Of course if you have any other specific questions, just let me know! I'd be happy to help answer :)

This post was sponsored by Bravado Designs. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Hoping: Henrik sleeps better tonight than he did last night. He's going through a growth spurt (it's always something) and it's taken a toll on all of us.
But: I've been pretty productive today so I'm feeling good! Ish.
Wishing: I had a McFlurry.
Days Until Christmas: 154!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Mr. Bingley's Sleepover

A few weeks ago, Chris was about to leave for a five day work trip and I was stressin'. It was the longest trip he was going on since Henrik had been born. I have anxiety issues so I was unsure of how I would handle him being gone for so long. What worried me the most was nights by myself. I knew I could probably handle dealing with Henrik's middle-of-the-night needs, but I did not like the idea of being alone. In my house. At night. That totally freaked me out. In the past, whenever Chris was getting home late, I would just stay up because I was too scared to turn out all the lights and go to sleep by myself. Any little sound I heard terrified me and I was so nervous someone would break into our house and murder me in my sleep or something (our neighborhood is v safe, btw. I'm just a scaredy cat).

I contemplated moving Henrik and myself into my parents' house for the week and just sleeping there, but deep down I knew Henrik would do better in his home environment and it would be a big hassle to pack up ALLLLLLL of our gear and get settled at their house.

My mom and I talked and talked about a solution and finally decided that we would have our shared cat, Mr. Bingley, stay at my house (he lives at my parents'). This seemed like the perfect solution since Bingley looooooves to sleep next to my mom and is generally a good companion. I knew he would distract me from my fears and make me feel not so alone.

I bought a litter box and some fish toys filled with catnip as a welcome gift and my mom brought him over the first night Chris was gone. He freaked out at first, but my mom stayed for a bit to get him acclimated. He quickly realized that I was there and the familiar faces made him feel right at home. It took him about ten minutes of looking concerned before he laid down on the couch with my mom.

V relaxed.

Once I got Henrik to sleep, my mom left and it was just the Bing & I. I started my bedtime routine and Bangles (one of Mr. Bingley's nicknames) had a GREAT time exploring my house. He followed me into the closet room while I took some outfit photos for Instagram and loved discovering all the nooks and crannies (and shoes).

'splorin the fun closet room. 

While I was taking out my contacts and brushing my teeth, Bingley hopped into my bathtub, stared at himself in the mirror, and rubbed up against me. He seemed quite at home and I was relieved that he wasn't distressed about his new surroundings.

He loves bathrooms. 

He followed me around as I locked all the doors and turned out the lights. The only one that was left on was the one in our bedroom all the way down the hall. He could see the light and sprinted ahead of me down the hall and immediately hopped up onto the bed.

Getting comfy. 

Oh hello.

Here's how the rest of the night went down:

11:30 In bed, about to go to sleep. Bingley is snuggled up near me. "This is going great!" I naively think.

So innocent. So pure. So deceiving.

I want Bingley to be quiet so he doesn't wake up Henrik so I immediately try to shush and get him lay back down next to me. Which he refuses to do. Instead he kneads my hair and walks all over me. I notice kitty litter by my head. I fall back asleep and presumably so does Bangles.

4:00 AM: MEOOOWWWW!!!!!! WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UUUUUUPPPPPPPPPPP. I tell Bingley to be quiet, which only seems to add fuel to his fire. He plays with his new fish toy by my bed. Loudly. Which I did not think was possible (it's not a loud toy). He walks on my headboard. He headbutts my face with vigor. I am covered in cat drool and fur. He tries to get comfy but just  meows. And starts doing who knows what in my bedroom (there's a lot of clanging). I cannot sleep.

4:45 AM: Henrik is awake and hungry. Bingley follows me into the nursery. He then proceeds to try to take down Henrik's name banner, get in his bassinet, scratch at the wicker basket, knock over a stack of books, knock over a lamp, climb the walls, etc. Then he jumps mightily into Henrik's closet and dumps everything in there, hops onto the changing table and licks some lotion off a bottle and smacks his lips and shakes his head for a while because apparently the lotion taste isn't to his liking, walks on Henrik while he's nursing, sits on Henrik, and meows at Henrik. All of this commotion prevents Henrik from falling back asleep (can't imagine why?) so I kick Bingley out of the nursery. The door is not sound proof and his meows are very loud so this is a pointless gesture. Henrik still can't sleep. So I let him back in.

5:45 AM: Try putting Henrik back in his bassinet and he appears to be asleep. Bingley follows me back to bed.

6:00 AM: Henrik has woken up again. Bingley helpfully trots over to the nursery door before me and rubs his head against it as if to say "Aha look! I found the source of the crying! I am such a good cat." Bingley meows while I try to get Henrik settled and is a general nuisance, but not as big of a nuisance as he was before. I get Henrik to sleep and back in the bassinet. I text my mom and half-jokingly ask her how soon she can come retrieve the cat. I go back to bed.

Bingley starts meowing. Again. Loudly. Bangs around my room for a bit then leaves. It's quiet and idk what the heck he is doing in my house but I don't care because he's not meowing in my face anymore.

He eventually comes back and tries to sleep on my chest.

I kick him off.

He mysteriously disappears again but then at 6:30 comes back to meow at me.

I determine my fatal flaw in the past has been to respond to the meows, which only seems to excite him and make him more determined to hang out with me because if I'm awake, that apparently means I am ready to play and give him my undivided attention.

So I play dead.

He walks all over me, meows some more, plays with his fish, sits on my bookcase and shoves his head through the blinds of my window so he can see the great outdoors. He eventually settles down.

Shortly after 7 AM, my mom texts and says she is awake and can come pick up Bingley (BLESS HER).

I look down at the foot of my bed where Bingley is laying. He doesn't realize I'm awake and yet there he lays, meowing. Just for the fun of it.

We get out of bed and eagerly watch out the window for my mom's arrival (one of us more excited than the other).

She arrives and I pass Bingley to her and discover after she has left that in Bingley's final farewell, he left a poopy streak on my  pajamas.

I then notice that all of the blinds in our family room are all tangled and a banner we have hung in our kitchen is on the floor. Henrik's door is also more open than I left it (I recall hearing Bingley meowing in the distance while I was asleep so I'm pretty sure he went in there to meow at Henrik at some point).

Misaligned blinds: Evidence of Bingley's middle-of-the-night adventures.

I change my pajamas and go back to bed and sleep much better.

I love Bingley, but decided I would rather sleep scared and alone in my house than have to deal with him again. He did not return for the subsequent nights.

Also for those keeping count, Henrik only woke me up really once whereas Bangles woke me up at least six times.

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