Friday, October 9, 2015

5 on Friday: maternity pictures

Remember when I shared my inspiration for maternity photos way back when? I did two sets of maternity pictures (lucky me!). The first shoot was a surprise from my husband and I love love LOVE them! He surprised me during our baby moon and I'll forever hold dear our moments in Bermuda. Here a few:

My second shoot was one that I had planned. I wish I could share them all with you but I only have two digital versions.

I love how all the pictures from each session turned out. Hopefully it doesn't take me forever to have them printed and hung.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Baby Muggin

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Monday, October 5, 2015

9 tips in 9 months

Coming off the heels of my pregnancy, I feel like I have more wisdom regarding those special 9 months. I realize every woman and every pregnancy are different but the fundamentals are still the same. So, I'm sharing what I've learned this time around.

Month 1. I had absolutely no idea I was pregnant at this point. We weren't trying but we weren't preventing. But luckily I was taking a prenatal vitamin- just in case. I skipped days here and there but I was also trying to improve my diet. 

Takeaway tip #1 Even if you are just "seeing what happens" take the vitamin daily!

Month #2. This is the point when I found out I had baby #2 on board. I was committed to taking my prenatal vitamin. And exercising. Unfortunately for me I couldn't keep up with the exercise. I struggled with fatigue and balancing an already busy life of husband, 3 year old, work, and various other obligations. I was also a nervous wreck that this wouldn't last. I used positive pregnancy affirmations and lots of encouraging talks with my husband to get me through this month. 

Takeaway tip #2: stay positive and enjoy every single moment of this beautiful journey that you can. 

Month #3. This is around the time most couples typically make their big announcement to the world. I opted to wait awhile longer due to my history. I just didn't want to deal with the what-if's. My journey is a very personal one and didn't way to deal with thrones of people with questions and whatnot- so I held onto my joy a little longer than most. But if you have no reason to otherwise I'd say shout it from the mountain tops! It's such a happy time in your life why no let it show?!

Takeaway tip #3: Don't be afraid to share your joy! 

Month 4: Things are getting really real now and probably have already begun to show. If you are the type- do a fun photo project to document your pregnancy.  Even if you don't always feel the best do it anyway. It'll be fun and nostalgic to look back on this time and reminisce on how things were before your family expanded. Perhaps you can use it to compare a future pregnancy or your child may want to know what your experience was. It's crazy how much we can forget as time passes on. 

Takeaway tip #4: Document your journey- it'll be fun to look back on later.

Month #5: Plan a getaway! I know the babymoon market is beginning to take off but seriously if you can-do it. Life as you know it is about to change and who knows when your next opponent might be?! It doesn't have to be an extravagant trip oversees. You can do a cute weekend getaway to just about anywhere. Perhaps explore another place within your state of residence, get a hotel room and indulge in room service, or go to a bed and breakfast and just relax. The possibilities are endless!

Takeaway tip #5: Use the "babymoon" as an opportunity to relax and reconnect with your partner. 

Month #6: Start your baby prep. I actually start my prep a little earlier so I can plan and accommodate unforeseen circumstances. For instance when expecting my son it took me nearly a month to clean out the spare bedroom for his nursery. I didn't realize how much stuff I actually had piled in there. It was our catch all space. But otherwise now is a good time to go ahead and start getting the nursery together. That way you'll have time to make it all come together! 

Takeaway tip #6: Get the nursery together!

Month #7: Get ready for baby's debut. Learn all you can about the labor and delivery process, what to expect, and your options. This will help you to get the most out of baby's debut. But it doesn't stop there- you'll also want to prepare yourself for postpartum changes too. Having the knowledge before hand can make a difference later. 

Takeaway tip #7: Take a childbirth prep course (usually hosted at your local hospital) to get familiar with what to expect. 

Month #8: We opted not to have a baby shower the second time around but for our first- we did. Ideally, someone would be hosting this for you so all you have to do is show up! This is always a fun celebration of your journey into motherhood and your loved ones are likely happy to share in this special time with you. Even if you aren't into cheesy baby shower games there's still fun to be had!

Take away tip #8: Others are likely wanting to share in your joy. Use this as an opportunity to share your impending arrival with your loved ones!

Month #9: The moment you've been preparing for these past nine months is finally here. There is no better moment than meeting your baby for the first time. Enjoy it as much as possible. The birth that you've planned may or may not have happened but don't let that ruin this momentous occasion. Both of my deliveries went better than I anticipated but everyone isn't always as fortunate. If you find yourself delivering in a way you hadn't anticipated- try not to dwell on it. The most important thing is that you and your baby remain safe and healthy. 

Takeaway tip #9: The finish line is oh so sweet. Your life has changed for sure- savor every moment regardless of how your bundle of joy got here.

Bonus: The fourth trimester. A time of foggy bliss. Sleep deprivation, healing, and getting to know your sweet little one hits you like a ton of bricks! It's easier said than done but take it easy! Ease back into your day to day life slowly but surely. You never get these moments back so don't rush it.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

5 reasons why my daughter doesn't have a name

I started this before my daughter was born. Clearly she has a name now but it was tough.

I think my daughter is going to be named baby sister. It's what we've been calling her since we found out she was a girl.

I can't find a name that I feel suits her. I want a really beautiful name, something that makes you go "Oh, that's a pretty name" when you hear it. Something that rolls off the tongue well. I've looked up the translation of the words pretty and beautiful in almost every language known to man but nothing hits me as that's it! Here are two names that fit that bill:

Jalia (say: Ja-lee-uh) means pretty in Swahili- a friend of ours named her daughter Jalia.

Jolie means beauty in French. It was a strong contender but Angelina Jolie ruined it for me.

I didn't want any celebrity affiliations. Which is why Jolie was out. We live in a culture that is celebrity obsessed and I just didn't want her to be associated with any potential negative publicity or long lasting impressions. Think about the image you get when you hear the name Beyonce. I don't want her carrying that around for the rest of her life.

Kendall was really my number one name for about a week. Then that Jenner girl did something else and I was like absolutely not!!! Also, someone in my church has that name.
I also didn't want a name that someone else had. Of course it's nearly impossible to be the only person in the world with a name (unless you make it up completely) but the separation had to be huge for me. This meant no one from our social circle, friends, family, work, etc. I just didn't want to run the risk of the name landing on the social security administrations top 10 girl names of 2105. I just didn't want her to be Jennifer C. I went to school with 3 Ashley's 2 Crystal's (with different spellings) and a boat load of Jennifer's. Clearly those were popular 80's names.
This caused Charli to get the boot. Spelling variations included.
I prefer a family name. My brother, son, husband, and I are named after someone in our family. However, everyone in my family have really old southern names. Nothing would fit with my style and modern variations just weren't cutting it. I also wanted something that she can carry with her for the rest of her life.
However, Olivia got ruled out. Which really broke my heart because it's the number one family name that I loved. My grandfather's name is Oliver and his mom's name was Olivia. Plus my cousin who is like a sister to me is named Olivia. It was a perfect homage- the perfect family name, But all the bandwaggoners ruined that for me. You people suck. 
I also wanted something that would stay with her for years. There are some names that automatically seem old to me (Ethel, Gertrude) and some that are really only for little girls (Molly,
Journey had a really special meaning for us considering all that we went through. But, I felt that it lacked professionalism. Since we aren't loaded with money this little girl will likely need a job at some point and I'd like for her job applications to not get overlooked in the future. 
So, leave your best name suggestions below. Even though this post is old and baby girl is here- we may need the help if we ever have another.
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Thursday, October 1, 2015


Only 3  months left in 2015. Let that sink in.

Somehow I only managed 3 posts last month. Whomp, whomp! I certainly expected to have spent more time than that blogging but alas baby duty calls. I'm kind of looking forward to October- with some hesitation of course. It's my last full month of maternity leave as I will return back to work mid November and I am not looking forward to that. I'm loving the time me and my baby girl are sharing together. I remember this exact same feeling with my son.

But I do have a few things to really look forward to. For example, our annual Fall fest. Every year my parents and brother come up for Columbus Day weekend and we go apple and pumpkin picking. We have so much fun every year and everyone always look forward to it. This year my brother gets to stay the whole weekend (the past few years he's only stayed 2 days), and we add my little girl to the mix.

I'm also looking forward to our annual friend's beach vacation. Although it's too cold to get in the water we always manage to still have a good time.

Then we will also be traveling back home two weekends in a row to spend time with family and do all the Jersey things. Which means this weekend is the only weekend we'll be home. Somehow I need to clean the house and switch out the kids summer clothes for cooler weather clothes in 48 hours while I have the extra hands of my husband around.

Here's to a great month ahead!

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