Helpful Tidbits

Hospital & Postpartum Survival Kit

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for, oh I don’t know, eight months now. I came up with the idea almost immediately after Jameson was born and really wanted to put it together as a way to hopefully help some future mamas. But, you know, I got busy aka distracted. Life, amiright? Anyway, better late than never! I hope you find this list of items you might need for the hospital and for your postpartum recovery helpful in some way. Please let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: I labored naturally at home and Jameson was born just about an hour after we arrived at the hospital. Because of this, I didn’t bring any labor-specific items to the hospital and we only stayed one night. If you have opted for a C-section or want to be prepared in case you end up needing to stay longer in the hospital for any reason, you may need to tweak this list here and there.

FOR BABY

A few (swaddle) blankets – Only if they’re sentimental or wanted for pictures, though. The hospital will provide and send you home with plenty of their own swaddle blankets.

A few simple outfits – Again, only if you plan on dressing your baby in the hospital. We ended up just keeping Jameson in a diaper and swaddling him up because 1) it was easier to change him; 2) they run all kinds of tests while you’re there and it’s much quicker if the baby isn’t covered in clothes; and 3) skin-to-skin bonding is recommended, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

Going home outfit and a spare going home outfit – Normally I would say this is overkill because really, what are the chances that your itty bitty one will completely destroy his meticulously chosen outfit moments before being loaded into the car seat for the first time? 100% likely with Jameson. I was literally strapping him in his car seat when – BAM! – poop explosion. So he ended up coming home in a random onesie I had jammed in his diaper bag.

** Don’t bother with diapers & wipes because the hospital will provide everything you need (and more!) and the ones you brought will just take up space. Grab those hospital freebies like they’re going out of style.

FOR THE HUBS

Sweatshirt – One of the top recommendations I got when asking people for advice on what Alex should pack. They were right! Our room got chilly and he was glad he had it.

Nice camera – In all likelihood, you won’t be taking many pictures (you’ll be busy, you know, being a mom and all). Decide who will be in charge of taking pictures, whether that’s a professional or your husband with your good camera, and make sure you pack the charger.

Other electronics – Phone, chargers, possibly something to watch movies on (Alex and I brought my iPad and watched The Office on Netflix while Jameson snuggled with us in bed).

Comfortable Clothing & Toiletries You know the drill.

FOR YOU!

Ready for the nitty gritty? We’ll start off easy…

A copy of your birth plan – If you have one. I never even used mine (I knew how I wanted my labor to go and my midwife was extremely accommodating) but it might be nice to have on hand, especially if you think it would be helpful to have your preferences clearly laid out in writing for the doctors and nurses.

Anything you might need for labor – As I mentioned above, I labored almost entirely at home so I didn’t bring anything. But this could include special music, a focus item, a Bible with specific verses marked to read during labor…

Hair ties – Maybe one or two. My hair was a hot mess after delivery so I just threw it in a pony and that was that.

Chapstick – Always good to have.

Loose-fitting pajamas/other outfits – If you want to avoid the hospital gowns. Some people really prefer to be in their own clothes, which I totally get. I personally just stayed in the hospital gown the entire time (didn’t even wear a bra) because it was convenient for nursing, convenient for all those frequent doctor checks, I didn’t care if it got ruined, and I was really just too lazy to get changed. Seriously. Next time I deliver a baby I’ll probably bring one pair of pj’s just in case and that’s it.

**Clothing recommended to me: Yoga or sweat pants, flowy shirts, a nightgown, and a robe. Make sure you’re not too attached to any of these items since they could get rather…stained. Ew.

Nursing bra and/or nursing tank – If you’re planning on breastfeeding. Again, I ended up not even wearing mine but I would still recommend bringing one anyway.

Socks and/or slippers – I believe hospitals recommend you bring those with good grip on the bottom, just in case you decide to wear them while laboring and want to walk around.

Flip flops – A definite must. I wore those bad boys right into the shower. I don’t care how many chemicals have cleaned that bathroom, I knew what was coming out of me (yep, gross) and I knew I wasn’t the first to be in that situation.

Toiletries – The hospital does supply you with shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. so you could skip this if you want to pack light. I, however, am the kind of person who likes to use the products I’m used to. Don’t forget your toothbrush, though! 🙂

Beauty supplies – The only thing I used in this category was a little bit of mascara so I didn’t look like a total zombie in our first family pictures. But I did pack my straightener as well. (I didn’t yet know that you don’t really have that kind of time with a newborn. Ah, youth.)

Going home outfit – Keep in mind that you will probably look about six months pregnant even after delivery (boo!) so choose something comfortable and roomy. I wore leggings and a long, loose shirt.

Nipple cream (for all you nursing mamas) – Yup, now we’re getting into it. You probably won’t know what works best for you until a few days in so just grab a brand and try it out. I used Lanolin by Lansinoh but I’ve also heard great things about Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter if you prefer lanolin-free.

Depend for Women – Hey, you don’t want your baby to be the only one in diapers do you?! Yeaaahhh. To be quite frank, you’re going to be bleeding a lot. It’s going to look like a murder scene in your pants every time you use the bathroom. The hospital has these mesh thunder-pad panties that lots of women swear by, but they never fit me very well. I wore them at the hospital just because I paid a buttload of money for that hospital stay and darn it, I’m getting me some mesh panties! But once I got home I switched to Depends (picked up at Target) and they fit much better. Plus, soooo sexy! Seriously though, I much prefer diaper-wearing to worrying about a regular pad sliding around my underwear all day and night. Once the bleeding subsides a little in a couple of weeks you can switch to the regular pads (I did), or just keep on rocking the diaper.

TO HAVE READY AT HOME

(your postpartum care)

Perineal Irrigation Bottle – Found on Amazon here, or stolen from your hospital. Use to clean…er…down under.

Dermoplast – The blue kind, not the red kind. The hospital will probably send you home with some but I had more ready for me at home and I’m so glad I did. This stuff will numb the heck out of your nether-regions, which is definitely what you want (whether you had tearing/stitches or not).

Some sort of stool softener – Just…yeah. Take it.

Lansinoh soothies gel pads – For nursing mamas, found on Amazon here. I didn’t actually use these so I can’t speak from experience, but I’ve heard they work wonders on sore or damaged nipples and I wish I had bought some.

More Depend for Women – Just buy a whole bunch. C’mon, you know you want to.

And that’s it! I would really recommend checking out The Postpartum Experience on Lucie’s List as well, especially if you’re not sure what to expect in terms of your delivery, what happens at the hospital, what happens afterwards, and so on. Meg breaks everything down so easily and she’s a riot. Can’t recommend her work enough!

Let me know if I missed anything important! I’d love to hear what worked well in your experience.

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Jameson Monthly, Life with Jameson

Seven months of Jameson

Life with this little boy is absolute bliss. I guess that’s how most mommies feel, but I’m secretly convinced that Alex and I got the best tiny bff out there. 🙂 Seven months is such a blast with Jameson! He is the silliest, sweetest, jolliest, and most fun little guy ever and I just feel so thankful that he’s all ours. Here’s a peek into our life with Jameson at seven months old…

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Weight & Length: We didn’t have a well-visit for this month so I’m not sure of his height or his percentile rankings, but I weighed him at home and he’s 18.8 lbs!

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Clothing: He’s in all 6-9 month (or just 9 month) clothes now and still size 3 for diapers. I’ve gotten him a few things for summer, but I’m most excited about these two adorable bathing suits that my mom got for him! We tried them on him and he looks so darn cute, and I just know he’s going to love the pool this summer. 🙂

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Eyes & Hair: His eyes are still that newborn blue on the outer edges, with a deep olive green in the middle. I guess I might call them hazel if someone asked me…but I really don’t know haha. They change all the time. His hair is still light brown for the most part, but the new hair that’s growing in is blonde! For so long I thought he had this bald spot on the back of his head, but then one day we were standing in the sun and I saw that it’s just really blonde hair. Who knows if it will stay blonde, but I kind of love it for now. 🙂

DSC_4795IMG_8343Sleep: Well, he’s mostly done with wanting to nurse during the night, which I half love and half hate because I’ll miss our nighttime snuggles. He goes to bed between 8:30-9pm and sleeps through until usually 5-6am. Alex is usually up getting ready for work so he’ll bring Jameson into bed with me, I’ll feed him and then he snuggles with me until we’re up for the day around 7:30 or 8. His nap schedule is about the same as last month…three naps during the day (one morning, one afternoon, and one early evening) for 40 minutes to about an hour and half each. It’s been great! He gets himself to sleep on his own for the most part, usually by sucking his two first fingers on his right hand and cuddling his blankie. Oh it’s so so cute!

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Loves to sleep with his tushy up!

Eating: From the way this kid nurses, I thought for sure he’d be super stoked about solid foods. NOPE! I’m pretty sure if I just stopped giving him solids, he wouldn’t even notice. He’s just kind of blah about everything we try. He sort of likes pears with oatmeal and the other night he ate a bunch of sweet potato baby food, but besides that and his Puffs there’s nothing he actually gets excited about. Plus he seems to change his mind about what he likes day by day, which is nice and confusing for me. In general he tends to reach for whatever food Alex and I are eating so we’ve been doing a bit more of the baby-led weaning approach to solids, but sometimes it’s hard because not everything we eat is baby-friendly (like hot wings haha). I’ve been trying to make foods Jameson can try with our regular dinners (like corn or mashed potatoes or rice) so he can participate and we’ll just have to see if he starts branching out more soon. Otherwise, he’ll be just like his parents and be a super picky eater… I’m pretty sure I lived on hot dogs and mac and cheese as a child.

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Loves the beans from Chipotle!

Milestones: He crawls up on his hands and knees now, he can hold his own sippy cup, and he’s started pulling himself up to stand on things! He’s only done it a few times but he gets so proud of himself when he does. 🙂 He can go from crawling to sitting up (and vice versa) with ease, turns himself in any direction he wants to go in (I even saw him crawl backwards once), and he waves now too! I’m loving this stage so much.

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This is his determined face.

Sounds: He has lots of lovely conversations with himself all day as he’s playing, but my favorite is this really high pitched squeal that he does when he’s super happy. He opens his mouth as wide as he can, takes a deep breath and just goes “ahhhh!!!” as high as he can. Hahaha so funny. He also makes so many adorable and hilarious faces while he’s chatting or practicing his noises.

IMG_7879DSC_4888DSC_4356Loves: When daddy gets home from work, crawling and doing things by himself, standing with support, his bumper jumper still (although he’s almost too big for it), his blankie, his squeaky frog toys, bath time, his cousin Madelyn, riding in the shopping cart, playing with Charlie, being outside, listening to music, being with me & Alex, and playing with things he’s not supposed to have (shoes, remotes, calculators, Charlie’s food and water dishes, all of Charlie’s toys, and his absolute favorite is any sort of wire. Alex and I joke that it’s his superpower to be able to find every wire in the house because he seems to just mysteriously know where all of them are).

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Caught red-handed

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When Daddy gets home from work!

IMG_8063IMG_7980IMG_7842IMG_7993Hates: Having too much change thrown at him all at once. He needs time to warm up to people before he decides he’ll play with them, which can be hard because people think he’s cute and want to interact with him before he’s ready. But once he decides that he likes you, he is just the sweetest little thing and will give you all sorts of cute baby giggles and flash you those dimples every two seconds. 🙂 IMG_8239

Things I want to remember: How you look when you’re smiling and being carried away, how you wave to yourself instead of outward, the way you grab flat toys in your hand and just sit there flicking them back and forth, your fake little laugh (a really high pitched “heh heh heh!”), the way you’ve started peeking around things to see what’s behind, the way you sometimes sleep with your knees tucked under you and your booty up in the air, how you start breathing really fast out of your mouth when you’re super interested in crawling to something, the way you accidentally wail “aye yi yi!” when you’re very sad or annoued about something, the way you frequently crawl into my lap as your way of asking me to hold you, how you sometimes try to hide your smile when I know you actually think something is funny, and the way you’re always exploring the world around you.

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Jameson & Hayden

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Cheeks get caught on his shoulders!

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Pumping iron with Grandpa.

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Loves his Aunt Chuck. ❤

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His grumpy face.

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Typical.

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We fall more in love with you every day, sweet Jameson! You are our greatest blessing.

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By the way…this is how most of his monthly pictures turn out these days. Lol.

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Helpful Tidbits, Products + Reviews

What’s in my diaper bag

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+ diaper bag: Ju-Ju Be B.F.F.

+ nursing cover: Covered Goods

I thought I’d do this fun little post really quick for any moms-to-be out there who are wondering what exactly they’ll actually need in their diaper bags (I used to way over-pack mine haha). Jameson is almost seven months now so I pack a little differently than I did when he was a newborn, but it should give you a pretty good idea about what some of the essentials are.

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+ front pouch aka the “Mommy Pouch” (pictured above): my wallet, some gum, dental floss (you never know), hand sanitizer, Chapstick & a lipstick or two, and a few Advil in a plastic baggie.

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+ mini zipper pouch: a pen, an extra binky (which Jameson really just uses as a teether now), sunglasses, and my cell phone if it’s not in my pocket.

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+ main pouch: a small red cosmetic bag which I use to hold diapers (usually 5-8 because I overprepare) and wipes so that I can easily find them, teethers in the plastic-covered picture display pockets for quick access, a burp cloth, an extra onesie and extra shorts/pants, sometimes a pair of pjs if we’ll be out for awhile, one of those packages of sample wipes just in case I run out of my usual ones, health-related essentials grouped in one of the inside pockets (spare thermometer, his special lotion for dry skin, a travel baby brush, and a nasal aspirator), a few non-teething toys that he likes, our spare baby monitors (not a real essential, but we spend the weekends hanging out with family so they’re useful to have on hand), my nursing cover which Jameson is eating in the picture above, and maybe a snack for me.

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+ insulated side pouches: his sippy cup on one side and either a snack for him (usually Puffs) or my water bottle on the other side.

++ the back of this diaper bag has a pouch that holds the memory foam changing pad it comes with, and I sometimes shove random stuff (junk) back there too.

And that’s everything for now! The nice thing about this diaper bag is that it really has a lot of space and plenty of inside pockets for organizational purposes. I’m excited to see how it grows with us and fits our needs in the future as Jameson gets older, and as we hopefully add more little ones to our family!

Did I miss any essentials? Let me know what you keep in your diaper bag! 🙂

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Letters to Littles

Letter #9

January 19, 2016

Dear Jameson,

Hi buddy! I just have to let you know that you are the coolest four-month-old I know. Being your mom is seriously the most fun I’ve ever had (and one time your dad and I went on a speed boat around the island of St. Lucia, went snorkeling off the coast, and took a mud bath inside a volcano). You’re still more fun. 🙂

Lately it seems like you’re such a big boy and not so much my little baby anymore, even though I know you’re still little. You’re learning so many things, and so quickly! This week you really started figuring out how to roll from your back to your belly and now I find you in the funniest places (laying on top of your toys, your feet sticking out of your crib, etc.). I’m really SO proud of you! You’re getting good at grabbing toys (and hair and beards and glasses of water) and your favorite thing to do is bounce in your bumper jumper that hangs in the doorway of your room. You have so much energy! I can tell you’re going to be a handful once you can crawl around. 😉 But that’s okay! Luckily I have lots of energy too.

You’re so curious and interested in everything (especially Charlie). You love watching what everyone is doing and trying to figure the world out. Sometimes you get overwhelmed by too many people and noises and things around you (me and your daddy are the same exact way) but for the most part you’re so happy and full of life and constantly smiling and giggling. I love that about you. There’s really so much I love about you.

Right now, you and I are the very best of friends. I’m sure you’ve had lots of other best friends in your life by the time you read this, but I’m thankful that I’ll always be your first. You light up as soon as you see me or hear my voice. You look to me for safety and comfort and help and food and fun! I know just what will make you laugh and I know just how to fix whatever problem you might have. It’s a privilege to be your best friend.

God could have placed you in any family He wanted to, but He chose me and He chose your dad and for that I will always be grateful. Watching you play and laugh and learn new things has been the very best part of my life. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You aren’t just an important person to me; you are the most important person to me. (Well, until maybe you have a few siblings that I don’t know about yet…then you’re all evenly important to me.)

I love you so much, baby. You complete our little family in all the best ways. I know someday I’ll look back on this time in our lives and wish I could have just one more day of you being this small, one more day of scooping up your tiny snuggly body and singing “I Love You Lord” as you fall asleep. So I’m going to leave the grown-up version of you now and peek in on the four-month-old who’s sleeping soundly in his crib…and whisper I love you one more time.

You have my whole heart always, sweetheart.

Love,

Mommy

 

Helpful Tidbits, Products + Reviews

Baby Registry Basics

So you’re having a baby… Yay!!! Congratulations on bringing a brand new, adorable little squish into the world!

Deciding what to buy/register for when you’re pregnant with your first baby can be so overwhelming at the beginning. Recently a friend of mine (who’s pregnant with her first baby, hooray!) asked me if I could share with her a list of everything I think is a “baby essential” for new mamas. She’s putting together her registry and was looking for tips on where to get started. I sent her my list but I thought I’d share it here as well, just in case other mamas-to-be could benefit from it.

{By the way, I am by no means an expert…these were just things that I personally registered for and/or found super helpful these past four months with Jameson. I also have a shorter review of my top eight favorite baby products, which you can check out here.}

Okay strap in and let’s get started…

Stroller & Car Seat

I thought I’d start off with the big ones. You can buy these separately but we’ve found that the stroller + car seat combo option (aka a travel system) is super convenient and easy because you can literally unclick the car seat from its base in your car and click it right into the stroller (which is extra magical when Jameson falls asleep in the car and we don’t want to wake him up). We use the Britax B Agile (stroller) with the Britax B Safe (car seat) but there are lots of other great brands as well. Alternatively, you can actually buy a car seat alone and then buy a stroller frame that the car seat can click into, but that stroller frame can’t be used in the future without the infant car seat. So that’s why we chose the full travel system instead, and we’ve loved it from day one.

Baby Carrier

There are sooo many options and I drove myself crazy researching and trying to figure out the best ones. Ultimately I bought two different wraps (but I liked the Solly Baby the best out of the two…it can be used for an infant and an older baby) AND we also got a soft-structured carrier (the Ergobaby 360) for things like zoo trips and situations where I want to wear Jameson for longer periods of time. But if you prefer wraps to the structured carriers (or vice versa) you really don’t need both…that’s just what we did.

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Swing or Bouncer

Seriously, if you can get your great-aunt-whoever to buy you a really nice swing, it will not disappoint. If not, just go with the best you can afford. Total life saver for me when I needed to get dinner together or clean up or whatever and Jameson was too little to just leave somewhere and be entertained. We have the Fisher-Price My Little Snuggapuppy swing. Getting a bouncer is another (cheaper) option, but you probably don’t need both the swing and the bouncer, so go with whatever works best for you.

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Graco Pack ‘n Play with reversible napper and changer

{Find it here on Amazon} This bad boy is easily packed up and taken places so your baby always has a safe place to sleep and play. Plus it has a bassinet on top which flips to be a changing station, so you can set it up in your bedroom and let your little one sleep there at night if you want. Otherwise, you might want to buy a full bassinet to keep in your room during the first few months. If you go with the Pack ‘n Play, though, it’s all in one (the main reason we went that route). You’ll also want to register for a couple of the Pack ‘n Play mattress sheets (on Amazon here) and possibly a separate, more comfy mattress than the one it comes with (such as the Dream on Me), if you’re planning on using it long-term.

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Bath Time Supplies

  • Go with the cheap blue bathtub that everyone gets (Walmart has them here) with the infant sling in it for when your baby is super itty bitty. No need to get fancy in this area.

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  • We use plain old Johnson & Johnson products for shampoo, body wash, and lotion (you can register for the gift set if you prefer).
  • And make sure you throw some washcloths and hooded towels on the registry for your babe, too.

Sleepy Supplies

  • First off, you’ll definitely want to register for some swaddle blankets. You can get specific “swaddlers” that just velcro so you don’t have to worry about wrapping and folding and all that black magic, but Jameson never liked those. We ended up buying a bunch of the adin + anais muslin blankets instead (kind of pricey but if someone buys them for you…scoreee!). They’re super breathable and can be used for swaddling of course, but we use them for lots of other things too.

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  • Depending on your house size, you’re going to want to register for some baby monitors. If you’re in a small apartment you might not even need them, but if you’re in a larger home (or if you’re just a worrier like me) then you’ll need some good ones. We originally registered for audio-only monitors but as we’ve been transitioning Jameson to his crib at night, I personally felt like I needed more for my own peace of mind. So with our Christmas gift cards we ordered the Levana Stella video monitor and it’s been awesome. Either way, do a bit of research before you decide on a monitor so that you’re sure you found a quality one.
  • A sound machine is another item you might want on your registry, especially if you have loud neighbors, loud animals, loud spouses (ahem). There are plenty of cheap ones that will do the trick, or you can go all out and get a fancy shmancy one. We use the plain old HoMedics SoundSpa sound machine and keep it on the white noise setting. Or sometimes we just put a small fan in Jameson’s room, which works just as well for drowning out unwanted noises.Some sort of night light. Doesn’t have to be anything expensive (unless you want it to be), but I’d definitely recommend one for those late night feedings when you’re basically half asleep and bumping into everything.

Feeding Supplies

  • Bottles/slow-flow nipples if you’re planning on bottle-feeding or pumping (even if you’re not, you might want to grab a couple of bottles and nipples like the Philips Avent starter gift set, as well as some formula, just in case you get in a bind and breastfeeding isn’t an option at the moment for whatever reason).

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  • A hand pump and/or an electric pump for breastfeeding mamas (you can get a nice electric pump through your insurance under Obama Care). Also some sort of storage system for your pumped milk, if you want. {I can’t really speak too much on this area because I personally don’t pump or store breast milk.
  • Burp cloths. LOTS of burp cloths. (We use Gerber brand and they double as cloth diapers if you’re into that sort of thing). Some bibs might be good as well.

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  • Nursing pads for inside your bra (I personally prefer the washable kind because they’re softer and cheaper than constantly buying the disposable kind). Even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, having some nursing pads on hand is helpful at the beginning because you’ll most likely leak a little when your milk comes in.
  • Nipple cream or butter (I just used Lanolin by Lansinoh when I needed it at the beginning) but I’ve also heard good things about Earth Mama Angel Baby nipple butter.
  • A good nursing cover. Don’t skimp on this one! It’s so worth it if you’re breastfeeding. I started with the standard bib-type (aka the front-facing cape) but it felt so awkward and revealing to me so I searched for a more modest option. Ultimately I found Covered Goods and ordered the cover online almost immediately. It’s literally probably my favorite baby-related purchase, not only because it’s so modest and comfortable but also because it has so many other uses as well. Check them out for sure!

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  • A Boppy (or some other type of nursing pillow) is helpful when you’re learning how to breastfeed, and it’s good for tummy time for babes. You’ll also want to register for at least two nursing pillow covers just because…babies are messy.

Diapering Doo-Dads

  • You can register for diapers and wipes, but you’ll probably get those as gifts anyway.
  • A wipe warmer. Some people say to skip this one, but for Jameson it was a must. When he was a newborn he haaaateeedd getting his diaper changed and a wipe warmer seriously made such a difference for him.

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  • Some type of diaper rash cream (I highly recommend Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, partly because the name is hilarious but also because it’s just a really good product)
  • Possibly a diaper pail, although we just use a small trash can.
  • A good diaper bag. There are about 6 zillion options to overwhelm you, but whatever you decide…make sure it’s good quality. You’ll probably be using it for many years down the road (and possibly for multiple kids), so invest now. I went with a Ju Ju Be diaper bag (the Ju Ju Be B.F.F. model because it’s also a backpack) and I’ve loved it ever since. Cute, convenient, comfortable to carry, machine-washable, and versatile.

Nursery Essentials

{Just stick with the basics.}

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  • A mattress (you can go organic with this, or something like the Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams mattress on Amazon)
  • A few waterproof mattress pads and a couple of extra sheets (for those lovely late-night leaking adventures)
  • A dresser (we have the Fisher-Price Lakeland Double Dresser that matches the crib)
  • A changing pad to go on top of the dresser if you want to skip the whole extra “changing table” piece of furniture like we did) and a few changing pad covers to go on it.
  • A glider for you (doesn’t have to be fancy, just something comfy you can rock/feed your bebe in when you get tired of bouncing them around). We just got one of the cheapest ones we could find on Amazon and it’s been perfectly fine.
  • A mobile like the ones from Buy Buy Baby can be great.

Playtime 

  • A play mat is a MUST (Jameson learned so much about using his hands from his mat and he has so much fun with it). Fisher-Price makes great ones, in a variety of price ranges.

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  • For older babies, Exersaucers are a blast (found here on Buy Buy Baby) and so are those bumper jumpers that you can attach to the door frame (found here on Buy Buy Baby).
  • You might also want to see if a Bumbo (on Amazon here) is something you want for when your baby is a little older. If so, I’d recommend getting the tray attachment for it so your baby can easily play with toys or have a snack or whatever else.

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  • Some sort of car seat toy (Amazon has a bunch of options here). This is especially useful when you have a baby like Jameson who strongly believes that the car seat is quite literally torture.
  • Maybe a couple of bath toys? You can delay this, though. Newborns just sort of lay there in the bath haha.
  • Any other toy that looks fun! Rattles, things with buttons and silly songs, some teethers. But really, you’re probably going to get a bunch of these whether you register for them or not.

Randoms

  • Pacifiers. You’ll probably want to register for a couple different brands to see which your babe prefers (if any). We used Soothies at first and now Nuk brand since Jameson was about one month old.

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  • Some sort of snot remover device (we use the NeilMed Naspira Nasal-Oral Aspirator which looks like the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen in your life but works SO AMAZINGLY WELL). You can also pick it up at Target or Walmart or wherever.
  • A mirror for the car so you can see your baby while you drive (like this one).
  • Receiving blankets are great to have on hand, for swaddling when the baby is little and for tummy time and things like that (those things get so much spit up on them all the time, you’ll probably want quite a few).
  • Maybe a couple of cute baby blankets, although you’ll most likely get those as gifts anyway.

 

And that’s it! Phew! You made it.

** Word to the wise…don’t bother registering for baby clothes unless there’s something specific you really really want. You’ll be up to your eyeballs in adorable baby clothes at your shower anyway. **

Another AWESOME resource I’d encourage you to check out is Lucie’s List. It’s what I used when I was researching baby products and putting together my registry. The sheer number of options for literally every baby product is like…insane. But Lucie’s List made it easy for me to compare the top brands and choose what I thought would be best for my baby and my family. Plus Meg (the main author) is hilarious and she has a great newsletter that gets sent directly to your email with tips and info depending on where you are in your pregnancy/mommyhood. I loved getting those newsletters every couple of weeks during my pregnancy, and even after the birth of my son.

I hope you found this giant registry overhaul helpful!!! Please comment with any other registry essentials you may have, or with any questions. Thanks for reading!

– Jess

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Jameson Monthly

Three months of Jameson

As much as my heart aches that my baby is growing up before my eyes (at three months, he’s no longer considered a “newborn”), there is absolutely nothing I love more than watching Jameson learn new things and discover the world around him. He is such a curious and engaged little boy. I joke that he’s an old soul because he’s acted so beyond his real age since day one. This month has definitely brought us the biggest changes so far and as much as I miss those constant sleepy newborn cuddles, seeing my son alert and happy and captivated by everything around him has been such a blessing and so much fun! I love his little personality and I love showing him as much about the world as I can. Here’s where we stand for month three of Jameson…

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Weight & Length: We don’t have another well-visit scheduled until he’s four months so I’m not sure of his percentile ranking or his official length, but I weighed myself + Jameson and found out that he’s 14.8 lbs! That’s 1.7 lbs heavier than last month! Yay JimmyJam!

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Clothing: He’s moved right on out of 0-3 month clothes (except for like one or two outfits that seem to run big) and into the 3-6 month stuff. I actually spent an afternoon going through all his clothes, reorganizing everything, and packing away his newborn and 0-3 month things until the next time we have a baby boy (or someone else needs the clothes). I cried a little, put a few of the extra special things in Jameson’s memory box that I’ve been keeping, and then got excited about all his cute 3-6 month outfits. Dressing a baby is fun. 🙂 As for the diapers, he’s still in size 1 but I don’t know how much longer that will last.

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Eyes & Hair: He has lighter hair than Alex and I have, but it’s not all the way brown or all the way red. Somewhere in between, and getting thicker every day. His eyes confuse the heck out of me because sometimes I swear they’re dark brown and then he’s in the light and I’m convinced they’re green. I think they’re confused about what they are too haha. Apparently baby’s eyes can change colors until they’re one so maybe we won’t really know for sure for awhile. Either way, I love looking into them and seeing them light up when he gets happy or interested or excited.

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Sleep: His sleep at night is still solid (praise Jesus). He usually sleeps for 5-6 hours at first (sometimes less if he’s napped a lot during the day but never less than 4 hours), wake up and eat, sleep for another 3 or so, eat again, and then wake up for the day 2 hours later. We’re still co-sleeping which some people are totally against, but it’s been working great for us. I actually feel sick at the thought of one day making him sleep down the hall in his own room. I may have a bit of separation anxiety when it comes to my son haha. During the day I’ve been trying to only let him sleep in his crib or sometimes our bed (no more swing naps, for the most part) so that he’s used to going to sleep without movement. He’s pretty predictable for when he’s ready for a nap throughout the day so we’re on a kind of loose schedule, but he almost always only naps for 40 minutes. Like exactly 40 minutes. I don’t know how he does it. So because of that, he often takes like five 40-minute naps throughout the day, which works fine for him but can be hard on me (do you know how much you can get done in 40 minutes? not much). Oh well, he’s sleeping great at night so I can’t really complain. And as long as he’s happy and healthy and alert for the times he’s awake, I’m fine with his schedule.

IMG_5416IMG_5751IMG_5626IMG_5522Eating: Breastfeeding has been such a joy for me and Jameson has been loving it too. Now that he’s becoming more aware of his surroundings, sometimes he’ll pause his eating, look up to see me, and give me the biggest smile in the world. It’s probably one of my favorite things he does. He also loves to grab onto my shirt with his hands while he’s eating…a new skill he’s been working on. It’s so darn cute. 🙂 He wants to eat every 2-3 hours still (unless he’s sleeping), although if I’m being honest it’s usually closer to 2 hours at a time. I would like him to be able to stretch it to 3 hours but if he needs to eat, he needs to eat and I’m not going to deny him food just because he’s not following a set schedule. Giving up my Type-A need to control things is a new skill that I’ve been working on. 😉

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Milestones: Every month I say it’s been my favorite month for milestones and this month I have to say it again haha. Seriously, three months is such a fun age! Jameson gets better and better every day at holding his head up during tummy time, he turns his head to watch me walk around the room if he’s on the floor playing, he knows my voice and tries to find me if he hears me coming, he’s started to really love the bath and splashes like crazy the entire time, and just last week (literally all at once) he discovered he can do amazing things with his hands. He’ll hold his fists up in front of his eyes and watch them in amazement, he practices whacking his toys if they’re dangling in front of him, and he even grasps them all on his own. I’ll look away for a second and look back and he’ll have his fingers wrapped around a toy and be trying to get it to his mouth! I’m impressed by him every day. He loves feeling the textures of different things so I try to give him a variety of fun things to explore with his newly-found hands. I love watching him play and learn. 🙂 Oh and the other day he rolled from his belly to his back twice in a row! Granted he was on a very slight incline but still! Alex was right there to see it too and we both just looked at each other with our mouths wide open. Our baby is about to be on the move.

IMG_5495IMG_5775IMG_5914Sounds: This is another fun one! He’s been cooing and practicing different intonations and volume levels (haha) and will try to have little conversations with me. He coos at me, I imitate the sound back to him, and we go back and forth like that for as long as he wants. He also laughed for real for the first time this month and I caught it on video! I can usually get him to laugh at least once a day so that’s usually my goal. 😉 It’s seriously my favorite sound in the entire world.

IMG_5630IMG_5516 Loves: So many things these days! But he especially loves my undivided attention (no problem, I love giving it to him), splashing in the bath, grabbing things with his hands, eating, playing with Alex and grabbing his hair/beard (lol), going outside, being carried facing out so he can see the world, playing on his playmat, the Christmas lights on our tree, and listening to interesting sounds we make for him (he’ll stop, listen, think for a second, and if he decides it was funny…he’ll smile super big, squeal, and wait for us to do it again. Otherwise he’ll just look at us like he can’t believe we would think that was a funny noise. He’s a tough crowd sometimes).

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Hates: When I put his arms through the sleeves of his onesies and shirts (but just that part…the rest of getting dressed is totally a breeze!), getting into his car seat, and when we have to suck the boogers out of his nose (understandable). Oh and he clearly hates when I squish his face like this:

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Things I want to remember: The way you light up the second you see me, all your intense and curious reactions to surprising new things (like if I cough or sneeze), the face you make when you’re trying so hard to grab something with your little hand (eyebrows furrowed and your lips puckered out), the way your daddy bops you gently around to get you to sleep (and the way he continues to bop around even when he’s not holding you, just out of habit haha), picking out our first Christmas tree with you, how particular you are about what makes you smile and how you’d sometimes rather quietly think about things than smile, the way you love having little conversations with me, and how everything seems to be so much better when I’m holding you.

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Listening intently

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We’re so thankful for three beautiful months with you, Jameson Andrew! You are the best part of every day. We love you so much and can’t wait to see how much you learn and grow in month four!

Holidays & Special Events, Life with Jameson

Jameson’s First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Weekend has come and gone already! I hope you all got to spend time with the people you love most, and I really hope you got to eat lots of yummy food. 😉 I sure did! And I’ve been eating leftovers ever since (pie for breakfast four days in a row? don’t mind if I do!). We had the best weekend with our families and made so many wonderful memories. I’ve always loved the holiday season most of all but this year is extra special because we get to start our own little family traditions and make it fun and magical for our baby. Some of my favorite times as a kid were spent with my family… naming the Thanksgiving turkey, going around the table and saying what we’re most thankful for each year, picking out our Christmas tree, decorating together, and spending Christmas morning snuggled in the big bed taking turns reading about Jesus’ birth from our Bibles. I hope Alex and I can take bits of tradition from each of our childhoods and mix them with some of our own ideas to make the holidays something really special for our kids. It’s fun being the parents! 🙂

This Thanksgiving was filled with so many great memories. The day before Thanksgiving, Jameson and I went over to my parents’ house for a bit in the afternoon. We blasted Christmas music and my dad and sister kept Jameson entertained while my mom and I did some cooking/baking in the kitchen (my apple pie turned out delicious, if I do say so myself). The next morning Alex played in our church’s 2nd Annual Thanksgiving Day Flag Football game at a park nearby. Jameson and I came with him to watch/cheer him on/not really pay attention and talk to our friends instead. We had so much fun! Alex made a few touchdowns and Jameson was so proud of his daddy/didn’t notice at all and snoozed through the whole game. Good times. 🙂

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That afternoon we hung out at home watching Harry Potter haha. Random, but we’ve been making our way slowly through the movies (I’ve been reading the books for the first time so each time I finish one, we watch the movie together since I’ve never seen those either). Maybe that will become one of our weird family Thanksgiving traditions? Anyway, after Harry Potter we packed up our crap (babies have a lot of crap…add in some heavy Thanksgiving dishes and our dog Charlie and we looked like a couple of pack mules) and headed to Alex’s parents’ house where my own parents were waiting for us with my sisters, brother-in-law, and niece. There were so many yummy appetizers and the main dinner was so good! (we named the turkey “Jacques,” by the way). Once again, Jameson slept through most of it, but everyone had fun taking turns holding him and my niece Madelyn whenever they were awake.

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We have been so blessed by our Savior in so many ways. I’m not always as thankful as I know I should be, but I pray that God continues to teach me to be grateful and content and to stop taking my blessings for granted. We’re not guaranteed anything in this life but I’ve still been given so much to be thankful for, not just this time of year but every minute of every day. Thank you Jesus for showing me your love in so many beautiful ways!

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Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. 🙂

Jameson Monthly

Two months of Jameson

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We’re heading into month three of life with our tiny bff and I can honestly say that I’m even more obsessed with him now than I was even just a week ago! Sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself because I just LOVE HIM SO MUCH! I kiss his chubby cheeks approximately six million times a day and shout “I LOVE YOU!!!!!” at him as often as possible. His little personality is shining through more and more and he’s so curious and interested in everything. And those baby smiles and laughs…my heart is constantly being melted by him. This month has been so much fun and I can’t wait to see him keep learning about the world in the coming months, especially as we head into the holiday season (my favorite time of year). But first, a quick (haha) update on our little two month old…

Weight and Length: At his two month checkup today we learned that Jameson is 13.1 lbs (75th percentile), is 23.5 inches long (50th percentile), and his head circumference is 39.5 cm (somewhere within the 25th-50th percentile range). Once again, his pediatrician was very happy with his growth! We’re so proud of our brave boy.

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Clothing: Oh how this little one grows! I feel like we were barely getting into 0-3 month clothes when all of a sudden (overnight) they were mysteriously a bit too tight. He still fits in some 0-3 month stuff depending on the brand but the 3 month-sized clothes seem to fit him more comfortably overall. He’s officially in size 1 diapers and I hope he stays in those for awhile because we have way too many of them haha.

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Eyes & Hair: His hair has definitely lightened up a lot this month. Sometimes you don’t even need the sunlight to see the red in it, although it’s still mostly brown. It seems the be getting wavier as it grows in thicker and I’m kind of hoping it goes curly like Alex’s. 🙂 I usually brush it over to one side because he just looks so adorable with that comb-over! His eyes are starting to change color but I’m still not sure if they’re going brown or green. Maybe hazel. Most of the time I think I see a deep olive green in them but it’s still a little too early to tell. And as always, he has the best skin tone ever. I’m kind of jealous! He’s killin’ it with those good looks.

DSC_1174.jpgSleep: He’s really been so good with sleep overall (I say this as he’s stirring restlessly in his bassinet…lol). But really, he’s been such a champ. There was a week where he fought sleep like it was possibly the worst thing in the world, though…one of the days he napped for a grand total of 1.5 hours. For the entire day. And that was in half-hour increments, not even all at once. I looked like I had just escaped from an asylum by the end of it, my hair all frazzled and a wild look of exhaustion-induced hysteria in my eyes. But now he’s pretty much back on track, probably because I’ve been more consistent about how and when he sleeps. At night he’s still in bed with us which I love (one night we let him sleep in the bassinet we have connected to the Pack ‘n Play in our room and I literally couldn’t fall asleep because I kept panicking that I heard him crying). He’ll usually sleep for five or six hours straight, wake up to eat around 3:30am, and then go right back to sleep for another four hours or so (sometimes he’ll have a snack around 5:30am too). Since he goes to bed with us around 10 or a little before, that’s been working well for our sleep too. During the day he takes about four naps and we’ve gotten into more of a routine with it… I can mostly predict when he’ll be ready for a nap (especially when he starts whining haha) and I’ll swaddle him up, give him his binky, rock him and sing to him for a few minutes, and then put him in the bassinet with his bunny while he’s still slightly awake. Then he goes to sleep by himself! I’m hoping to keep this up and get him on a schedule based on his natural sleep patterns during the day so that things are more predictable and consistent for him.

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Eating: We’re still going strong with breastfeeding and it just keeps getting better and better! I love that I can sustain his health and growth entirely from my own body, and he seems to love it too. 🙂 His latch is fantastic now and he makes the funniest noises while he’s eating. If I’m feeding him and he suddenly unlatches himself for whatever reason and can’t get back on, he’ll legitimately grunt loudly in anger until I help him hahaha. He still eats every 2-3 hours during the day but I’m trying to work on progressing him to a consistent 2.5 or 3 hours stretch. He’s a hungry boy, though! Eating is probably his favorite thing to do.

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Milestones: This month has been fun with the milestones. He’s getting stronger by the day and is really good with his head control. I can hold him upright in my arms and he barely needs any neck support at all! He loves to sit propped up with pillows or in my dad’s big chair and observe the world around him. His legs are getting so strong and if you help him into a standing position he can hold his own weight up pretty well. He smiles when he sees us (aaaadorable, I can’t take it) and has gotten so good at following us with his eyes and even his whole head. He absolutely knows the sound of my voice and will look around until he finds me, even if he’s around a bunch of other people. He’s started to move his hands more intentionally now (usually to his mouth to suck on them) and sometimes if I’m holding his hand he’ll move it up to his mouth and suck on one of my fingers. A few times I’ve put a toy in his hand and he’s hung on to it and even tried to put that in his mouth too! I’ve noticed that he’s also experimenting with chewing these days and sometimes prefers to chew on my finger rather than suck on it. His laugh absolutely kills me every time he does it (it’s this squeaky little gasp that sometimes makes him cough) and luckily he thinks I’m hilarious so I hear it quite often. 🙂

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Loves: Me and Alex, watching us make silly faces, eating (who doesn’t?), his bunny and his binky, interesting noises (he’ll stop and lift one eyebrow when he hears something new), going outside, being walked around different places, being in his wrap, chatting with his “animal friends” (the animal pictures hanging above his changing table), kicking on his playmat, his hands and feet being played with, being held belly-to-belly and bounced around, and he loves when I kiss him on the face (which works out well because I love that too!).

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IMG_5168 IMG_5121Hates: Oh my sweet boy. He’s such a sensitive little dude. Lately he’s been in this phase where he just fusses and cries until someone picks him up and walks him around. He’s usually fine in the mornings but the afternoons/evenings are hard for him and he constantly wants to be snuggled or entertained (or to eat haha). He gets bored of things quickly and isn’t content to just sit on his own for more than a few minutes (sometimes he surprises us, though). From what I’ve read this fussy period usually ends around 3 months and I’m guessing that once he’s able to do more things on his own (grab things, roll over, etc.) he’ll be much happier. I can already tell that he’s one of those kids who just wants to get on with it already and do things on his own. He also definitely hates his car seat if the car is not in motion (like, say, at a stoplight. look out.) and he still doesn’t like getting dressed (but only when I have to put his arms through the sleeves).

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Oh the drama. “Someone hooold meeee.”

Sounds: I looove all his new noises! He’s working on his laugh and he makes the happiest little cooing sounds when he’s playing with me (and even when he’s playing by himself). My favorite thing is when he’s calm and in my arms and he looks up at me, smiles a teeny little smile, and starts cooing ever so softly and sweetly. I’ll start talking to him too and he’ll coo back in response. He tells the very best stories. 😉

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Things I want to remember: The way you fling your arms around happily while you laugh your gaspy little laugh, how your cheeks are so chubby that they’ve started dimpling up on the sides near your eyes, how you pound on your playmat keyboard with your feet, how excited you get when I turn my phone’s front-facing camera on you so you can see yourself, how you stretch when you first wake up with both arms up and your legs curled in, how you rub your eyes when you’re tired, the way you start kicking one of your legs really hard and fast when you start feeling stressed, how adorable you looked in your Halloween costume this month, the way your face looks when you’re casually thinking (bottom lip stuck out, eyebrows slightly raised, double chin in all its glory), and the way your face looks when you’re seriously thinking (lips slightly pursed, eyebrows furrowed, eyes intense). And I definitely want to remember the way you open your mouth as wide as it will go in a giant smile when I go in to kiss your little lips. ❤

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Month number two has been a blast. 🙂 We love you so much Jameson and we thank God every day for blessing us with you. ❤

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Helpful Tidbits, Life with Jameson, Personal Writing

Things I wish I had known when I was pregnant

There’s a pretty good amount of fear that comes along with a first pregnancy, no matter who you are or how calm you usually are about major life changes. For a Grade-A Worrier such as myself, that fear (of the unknown, of the what-if’s, of the crap that people scared me about) was something I wrestled with at times throughout my pregnancy. Now that I’m here and have almost two months of parenting under my belt I can see exactly what a colossal waste of time all that worrying was. (Hindsight, yo.) But in my defense, I just really didn’t know at the time. And when you have so many sources telling you to basically just brace yourself for the storm that is childbirth and newborn parenting, it’s easy to get scared. That’s why I decided to write this…for anyone who might be scared right now and anyone who might be scared in the future. My main theme: whatever you’re worrying about will probably not be anywhere near as bad as you’re imagining it to be, and – in fact – will probably pleasantly surprise you. So here we go. Things I wish I had known when I was pregnant…

#1. Giving birth to your first baby won’t necessarily be a long and terribly painful experience. I was all ready to be in blinding, horrifying pain for like 30 hours straight and fully expected to be begging for the epidural the second we reached the hospital. This was because of the countless horrible, scary things I had heard/seen/read about childbirth (especially concerning your first time with labor). Well guess what. You are stronger than you think and God can totally surprise you. Your body is capable of so much more than you realize and it’s actually (*gasp!*) designed to do this. Yes it hurts and yes it might take longer than you want it to, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. Your mindset is your biggest tool with which to battle the pain. If you go in determined to have the kind of birth you want (particularly those who want to do it completely naturally like I did), the pain won’t be the thing to stop you (obviously some things are outside your control, but pain is totally manageable). Plus, labor is just exciting! You get to meet your baby at the end and you know the end is coming soon. No one told me how excited I’d feel, even during the hardest parts.

#2. Your body will be different after giving birth but you won’t care nearly as much about it as you thought you would. Seriously. You won’t. I spent so much time freaking out about what I would do to lose the baby weight, get rid of stretch marks, fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, etc. etc. And yeah, some things about your body will be different but you’ll be so surprised by how much you literally don’t even care once you have your baby. You know what I care about now? Making sure my son is healthy and safe and taken care of. The amount of time I spend thinking about my appearance is drastically less than it ever has been in my life (which is actually an enormous blessing that I’m so thankful to God for). And actually, you’ll be surprised by how resilient your body is. Most things really do go right back to normal within a matter of weeks.

#3. Your relationship with your husband will change, but it’ll be better. Whaaaat?? Are you kidding me? No, it’s true. I can’t even tell you how many times I was warned (while I was pregnant) to enjoy the time I had with my husband while I still could because we’d never have time for each other after the baby. That, my friends, is a load of garbage. Alex works full-time and goes to school online full-time and we still have no problem making time for each other. Yes, Jameson is always with us too but that makes it better, not worse like so many people make it seem. No one told me that we’d have all these inside jokes about our son and crack ourselves up about them all the time. No one told me that I’d fall more in love with my husband as I watched him fall in love with my baby and that this new love would be so much deeper and richer than the way it was before. No one told me that I wouldn’t want to be apart from Jameson and that Alex wouldn’t either…that we’d be happiest when we were all together. If you don’t have a baby yet, absolutely enjoy this season of your lives together. But don’t be afraid that you’ll have to “give it up” because really, it feels like you’re gaining so much more. (You are.)

#4. You won’t be anywhere near as sleep-deprived as everyone seems to think you will be. This was something I was dreading about the newborn phase because, once again, I was warned countless times to “enjoy sleep while I can” since those late night wake-up calls were apparently going to ruin everything good about sleep. Not true. Not every newborn is a crappy sleeper. Jameson was giving us three hour stretches from the very beginning and would wake up 2-3 times a night to eat for ten minutes and go right back to sleep on his own. Totally manageable. I understand that it’s not that way for everyone but I was made to believe that I would basically be a zombie during the day because my baby would be keeping me up for hours and hours at night. It just wasn’t true and I was worried for nothing. Plus, I’ve never minded waking up to care for him. Even his little cries don’t bother me at all. I actually love that he still needs me so much…someday he won’t. And for the days where it is harder than usual (because sometimes it is)… coffee. Problem solved.

#5. Breastfeeding is probably going to be hard (and quite possibly painful) at first and then it’s going to get ten million times better. Just hang in there. I knew that it might be tricky at first (after all, it’s a brand new skill that you and your baby both have to learn) but I think I was kind of hoping I’d be the exception. Well I wasn’t. It hurt really bad at the beginning because I didn’t know how to position Jameson very well and he didn’t know how to latch on very well. But then all of the sudden, it was SO MUCH BETTER and I felt like a new woman! I was so excited every time he wanted to eat because I was just so proud of us for figuring it out. The bonding is amazing and then when you go to the pediatrician for that first check-up and you see all the weight your baby has gained entirely because of you, there is no greater pride. Seriously, if you just go in expecting that it’s going to take practice but determined to stick it out, it’s really one of the best parts about motherhood.

#6. You will know what to do. Maybe not at first, though, and that can be so frustrating. Having a baby flips everything about your world upside down. Suddenly you meet this new person who is completely dependent on you and you really have no idea how to help them at first because you literally just met them. There’s a lot of trial and error at the beginning and you’re probably going to guess wrong a few times before you figure out your baby’s cues (example: the first night we had Jameson home he was crying and crying and I kept trying to feed him when all he really wanted was to be snuggled up to sleep. I could have saved us both a whole lot of tears if I had just been calm and patiently tried other things. But, like I said, I had barely met him and I just didn’t know). You’ll quickly pick up on things (you probably won’t even realize how much you’re learning so fast) and then it’s really easy.

#7. You won’t miss the way it was before. This is something I think every parent-to-be worries about at times (I definitely did). Having a baby absolutely changes every last thing about your life…physically, mentally, emotionally, everything. But you won’t ever wish it could go back to how it was before. I think back to what things were like before I had Jameson and I don’t even remember who I was. Now I know that God designed me to be Jameson’s mommy all along and that this is who I’m supposed to be. I am exactly the kind of mother he needs, and the things I thought were important before seem so insignificant now. I actually feel sorry for the old me because I didn’t know him yet. You won’t miss your “old life” one little bit because your new life will be filled with more love and surprises and reward than you can even imagine.

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Holidays & Special Events, Life with Jameson

Jameson’s first holiday!

Growing up, we didn’t ever celebrate Halloween. My parents, as Christians, never wanted to participate in something that celebrates darkness and evil. So as a kid I never dressed up, never went trick-or-treating, and never went to Halloween parties. Instead we usually hung out at home watching movies or hung out with friends who didn’t celebrate either. The first time I actually dressed up for Halloween was a few years ago during college when my best friend and I put together Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes. Looking back I really don’t feel like I missed out on anything as a kid. As a Christian myself, I understand and agree with my parents’ decision to not get involved in Halloween because even though the holiday may not have started out as a celebration of darkness, over the years it has definitely morphed into exactly that for most of our culture. Alex and I talked a lot about it before Jameson was born to decide how we wanted to handle it and we ultimately agreed to “participate with caution.” Basically, we think dressing up is fine (and fun!) as long as it’s nothing too sinister and going to costume parties with friends is okay too. We’re going to make sure we have conversations with our kids about how Halloween actually began and steer them away from getting involved in the darker aspects of the day. As Christians we have the freedom in Christ to decide if and how we want to celebrate, keeping Him as our focus always. I don’t know if we’ll ever go trick-or-treating (maybe it’s how I was raised but something about going up to random people’s homes and asking for their desserts is weird to me haha) and I doubt we’ll ever decorate in celebration or anything like that. I don’t really see it ever becoming a major holiday that we celebrate, and that’s okay with me.

This year we decided to just dress Jameson up in something he already had (a “Wild Thing” outfit based on the book Where the Wild Things Are, from my best friend) and spent the day with family. My sister and her husband went with a Winnie the Pooh theme for my niece, which was sooo cute, and we hung out at the park for a little while to get some pictures. It was super low-key and we had lots of fun! Plus, babies in costumes are just the cutest. ❤

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HAHA poor baby! I promise we weren’t actually smushing him that hard. His cheeks are just really squishy. 🙂

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