Feb 21, 2018

year of the camera

this year, I am doing something I've long wanted to and am learning to use a camera. so, more photos to come! pictured here, luca after trapeze and a day of outside play. she's so many things, a perfect juxtaposition of girly-girl and tomboy, and I love her so very much.

Jan 5, 2017

quaker wisdom for the new year

As we head into this new year, Jim and I hope to be more mindful about our selves, bodies and habits and tighten up a few areas to make our lives run more smoothly. A few specifics: keep the kitchen clean so cooking is a joy, simplifying wardrobes, emptying drawers of items no longer needed, go outside more. Also, foster more community and relationships.

I came across these words on a favorite blog, The Littlest, a few weeks ago and they resonated with me. Happy New Year to you, friends! <3
Live beneath your means. 

Return everything you borrow.

Stop blaming other people. 

Admit it when you make a mistake.

Give clothes not worn to charity.

Do something nice and try not to get caught.

Listen more; talk less.

Every day take a 30 minute walk.

Strive for excellence, not perfection.

Be on time. 

Don't make excuses.

Don't argue. 

Get organized.

Be kind to people. Be kind to unkind people.

Let someone ahead of you in line.

Take time to be alone.

Cultivate good manners.

Reread your favorite book.

Be humble.

Realize and accept that life isn't fair.

Know when to keep your mouth shut.

Go an entire day without criticizing anyone.

Learn from the past.

Plan for the future.

Live in the present.

Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff.

via the littlest

Dec 14, 2016

holiday cooking, a to-do list

Delicious and tradition-inspiring recipes are popping up everywhere, it seems. Here a few I plan on making this holiday season:

Sur La Table Cinnamon Buns, via Dinner a Love Story (always a favorite)
Classic Cream Cheese Cut-Out Cookies
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vodka Sauce 
Oatmeal Crisps for our neighbors & friends! 

Nov 14, 2016

Nursing Necessities with Baby Cubby

Everyone's nursing story is different, and I've been lucky enough to have two sweet, yet totally different, nursing relationships with my littles. In total, I've been nursing for three and a half years straight, and wanted to share a little of what I've learned along the way. This post is in partnership with Baby Cubby, a store whose mission I believe in and is something I wish I'd known about in those early days at home with a new baby.

You will nurse a lot! When my first was born, I knew very little about babies. In our childbirth class, our teacher guided us through a typical day of newborn life - all those first time moms and dads were certainly surprised to learn that we'd spend the greatest amount of time ... nursing?! Yep. Who knew? I referred to AlphaParent's Timeline of a Breastfed Baby more times than I can count. (All those things you're wondering about? Normal.)

Every relationship will be different! Straight from the womb, Luca was a constant nurser. I remember feeling so much pride when the hospital's lactation consultant came the day after her birth to check on us. "That latch! It's perfect!" I quickly became aware of the magical powers of nursing with Luca - often, it was the only thing that would soothe her. We had a sweet nursing relationship right up until the night before my second was born. I nursed her to bed on a Monday night, then went into labor six hours later; I didn't know it, but that would be the last time she'd ever nurse. She was DONE! Leo, 27 months younger than Luca, was ambivalent from the start. After birth, he took his leisurely time latching - and though he did have a beautiful latch, I was told ;) - he was a completely different nurser. It only served a nutritional purpose for him - not comfort or closeness. At four months, we battled a thrush issue - thankfully antibiotics knocked that out easily. Now, at 15 months, Leo nurses twice a day, if it's offered; if not, he doesn't miss it. So different!

Find a good support group! Friends are essential, especially ones with babies of a similar age that you can text in the middle of the night, and a lactation consultant or group can be invaluable. Another resource? Baby Cubby. It's an online shop, yes, but it's also a team made up of parents who've been there, and who've vetted all the baby gear they sell to ensure it's what parents *actually* need, not just what's cute or trendy. This group is there to encourage, inspire and engage with parents, plus they're committed to providing great service. You'll find yourself doing a lot of online browsing for baby items, and also completely overwhelmed at knowing which item to buy. How are they different???? How do you know which one to buy?? With Baby Cubby, you can shop confidently knowing they've spent hundreds of hours researching so you don't have to. Bonus: Baby Cubby will price match (even Amazon!) and all orders over $49+ ship free nationwide.

Do yourself a favor: be prepared and get comfy! You'll spend a lot of time with your baby nursing, both in the beginning and down the road if you choose to nurse into toddlerhood like me. In addition to a water bottle (tip: keep the big one the hospital sends you home with!), here are my list of nursing necessities to keep both you and your sweet little one comfy and happy, <3

From top left, clockwise: 

Little Unicorn Cotton Quilt, this extra soft cotton blanket makes snuggling even more fun, and is just as sweet as your new baby / Comotomo Natural Feel Baby Bottle: you'll want to choose a bottle your baby can easily use, and the natural feel of these will make the transition seamless  / Medela Pump In Style: if you're returning to work, invest in this pump. You'll want a trusted brand to ensure your pumping sessions are as productive as possible / Ameda Manual Pump: I personally preferred the manual pump as a stay-at-home-mama. I didn't need a pump on a daily basis; only in the early days while dealing with oversupply and while traveling. This one is easy to clean and quiet, and a cinch to travel with due to its convenient size / Ameda Breast Milk Storage Bags: you can't have too many of these around! Each bag stores a full feeding for your baby (five oz), and you can lie them flat in the freezer to minimize the space they take up / Ergobaby Nursing Pillow, this pillow will be one of your best investments! Ergobaby is truly one of the best brands for baby products on the market, and this pillow will position baby *just so* while eliminating sore muscles in your arms and back / Tubby Todd Nursing Salve: don't underestimate the need for a good nursing salve. Salve will prevent soreness and scabbing as your nipples adjust to nursing a newborn / Covered Goods Nursing Cover: this was a discovery I made on baby number two, and boy did I wish I'd known about it the first time around! Multi-functional, this doubles as a nursing and carseat cover, allowing you to nurse in public discretely and also make the carseat a cozy cocoon so your little can keep snoozing while you shop / Little Unicorn Classic Cotton Bibs: let me be the first to tell you this: babies are messy, especially while nursing. Spit-up, dribbles, leaky milk. You name it, this bib will clean it. Bonus: they're super soft! / Medela Quick Clean Wipes: cleaning your pump on-the-go is no problem with these convenient wipes / Kickee Pants Footie PJs: my all-time favorite PJs for babies. These are so soft, my kids have worn them to bed literally every night of their lives. They come in a variety of adorable prints /  Bamboobies Nursing Pads: when your baby nurses, your milk will let-down on both sides, not just the side he's nursing on... prevent leaking through your top with these nursing pads.  I loved these due to their softness and their washability (SO much more comfortable than disposable nursing pads). Especially useful at night!

Enjoy this time with your baby! Nursing is beautiful and our bodies are truly amazing that we can provide the gift of sustenance for our littles.