Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Month: August, 2015

Baby baby baby

  
Are you ready for way more photos of a baby than you bargained for? Cause I can’t stop with this guy. He is so alert and fun lately–AND he’s sleeping about four hours at a time at night. Which means I’m rested enough to actually enjoy his cuteness.    

I absolutely adore snuggling him… He’s a pretty independent baby but about once a day (usually afternoon) he wants to be held, and this Nuroo pocket shirt is ideal for it. He’s falls asleep right away, and I can cook or clean which is what I’m typically doing around his snuggle hour.   

I’ve been slowly getting the hang of (and becoming comfortable with) public nursing… It’s not the easiest because I still have to use a stupid nipple shield because God forbid my nipples cooperate and now baby red is reliant on the shield… Everyone keeps telling me he will eventually be able to switch but so far he has zero interest every time I try. Anyway I imagine THAT was far too much information… What I was going to say is I am accumulating a good amount of nursing covers and  This one I love because it’s soooo soft. And super versatile.  

    
 Also when you forget to bring a blanket on your evening walk and it’s a little chilly, it doubles as a great blanket. 

Redmond has been generally napping less during the day, which makes it fun but also harder to get stuff done. Today my husband had to work super early, and Red decided to opt out of napping for the morning and opt into the constant desire to nurse… Thankfully he always sleeps on walks so I took him on an hour long one. But, I didn’t manage to shower or dress or drink my coffee till after 1:00… Swaddling him at night works like a charm though, and he generally falls asleep on his own. Soon he’ll be transferring into his crib and out of our room. I put him in his crib for the first time today, all swaddled up in This swaddle, but with hands free cause baby loves his hands.  

    
    
   
  As you can see, he’s stretching out like crazy to fill all the space. I can’t believe how tall he is at just three weeks old, but this swaddle can be expanded to fit as he grows luckily. And he keeps growing! My husband is positive he got bigger between when he left for work and came home. With the amount of eating he did… I wouldn’t be surprised…

All items c/o Nuroo baby

Baby quilt Here

A Beach Affair

  
The whole month of July, I was terrified I’d be overdue with Baby Red and would be at my sisters wedding with a tiny newborn and no idea what I was doing yet. Luckily, our little man came on his due date and we are getting the hang of being parents now that he’s almost three weeks old. 

My sisters day started out with a trip to our local cafe for sticky buns and iced coffee, and a walk to the little supermarket down town for flowers for my sisters hair. I was so nervous because she’s asked me to do it, and I’m hardly a hair expert.  

    
   
The weather was perfection, and I wore this lace dress while wearing Red who was on his best baby behavior.

Later, while I did hair, Red played with his daddy, and it was minor mayhem with our little apartment filled with her photographer, our parents, our huge dog, my sister and her baby, and her best friend… But somehow we got out of the house dressed and ready to go for the Nubble lighthouse in York, Maine for the ceremony.

    
    
   
I wore this fabulous wrap dress from Nuova Vita in magenta, and sang as my sister walked towards her now husband. They were married by our dad, just like Nick and I were. It was a beautiful ceremony and the weather was perfection–not too hot, with a lovely breeze. Rain was forecast for the day, so it all felt extra special.

Afterwards, we headed to Plum Island for the reception. 

 
 My niece and nephew. So cute.   

   
I wrapped my dress a different way to make nursing easier and because my bra kept slipping out… 

    
 Our little guy was a champ and didn’t cry once in the whole day. We didn’t end up getting home until almost 11:00, and thankfully Red slept like, well, a baby that night because we were EXHAUSTED. All in all, it was a perfect day. And weddings always make me love my husband even more. 

  

 
 Also, those cupcakes were damn delicious. I had two because… It was the weekend and you do what you gotta do.

Outfit 1: dress: no longer available Similarish

Shoes: Sperry’s, two seasons ago

Carrier: Baby k’tan

Outfit 2

Dress: c/o Nuova vita

Baby Mama 

  

This past Thursday, Redmond and I made our first solo trip down to Newburyport to spend the afternoon with my family. My sister was busy prepping for her wedding (a post on that coming soon!) and my dad and stepmom were watching my darling niece Aurelia. I felt like a real mom packing the diaper bag, doing last minute baby outfit changes (spit up incident…) and getting us out the door just ten minutes behind time. This Baby t shirt from Isabella Oliver seemed pretty much perfect for the day. So comfy and soft, but still stylish and unique. I paired it with loose boyfriend jeans and my trusty Birkenstocks for a few hours strolling through town, eating ice cream, and nursing at the park until  

 
     
    
     

The Birthday cake ice cream from Grahams in Newburyport IN a pretzel cone is quite legitimately my favorite ice cream in the universe. The stuff of dreams I tell you. 

 Baby Red agrees with me. 

Shirt: c/o Isabella Oliver
Shorts: Similar these gap ones I’m wearing are sold out 

Sandals: Birkenstocks

Getting Back in my Jeans

To be fair I haven’t actually tried any of my jeans on. It’s been 90 degrees with New England humidity on the daily so that ain’t happening. But in essence, once fall hits (which I like except for the fact that it heralds Six Months of Hell aka winter) I want to be getting back into my fall wardrobe so I’m not buying a whole new one.  

 So, here is a little recap of my two week postpartum “progress” and what I’ve been snacking on to combat the nursing hungries (or in my case, shakes/weakness) and what I’ve been doing to stay active while I wait to be cleared back into my normal cardio routine.  

I gained just under 40 pounds while pregnant. After birthing my ten pounder, plus losing all that water/deswelling ( not a word–should be a word)/placenta/blood I was down 20 of that. After two weeks of heavy nursing, light exercise, and hearty, healthy eating (you need calories to produce milk!) I’m 9 pounds from my original weight. I’m perfectly happy with that for now.  

Also my boobs are roughly the size of the twin peaks and those aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Redmond rejoices, I weep. Because I imagine once I CAN be jumping and running again they’ll be wacking me in the face. 

Anyway, the day I incidentally started labor, I made a bunch of healthy snacks to freeze and eat through so I’m not reaching for quick fixes that would be less satisfying and worse for me (packaged snack food/empty carbs). I made two kinds of muffins packed with oats, flax seed, fruit and honey to sweeten, and whole wheat flour. I also made a batch of my favorite peanut butter cranberry granola bars.  

First up, carrot cake muffins.  


   
I used This recipe from Ambitious Kitchen without the frosting and with the coconut. I added dried cranberries, about 1/4 cup flax seed, and some sunflower seeds to my batch. They are seriously delicious, especially with a jam dollop.

I also made a batch of Strawberry oat muffins via Ambitious Kitchen.

   I added 1/4 cup flax seed to these as well, and doubled the strawberries because I had TONS of them. They are insanely delicious. 

Red wakes up typically around 6:30, and I’m pretty shaky and weak after a night of nursing every 2-3 hours. So before I give him breakfast, I come down and eat one of these muffins with a little jam. We typically take a 2-3 mile walk before 9 am, and when we get home I have a big bowl of granola/fruit/yogurt before feeding my hungry little man again. 

For my afternoon lunches, I’ve been loving salads and my current obsession is a caprese salad because we have fresh basil and tomatoes from our porch garden.

  
It’s healthy and filling with the buffalo mozzarella. Add a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and it’s so good I could eat it daily. 

I typically have a granola bar between lunch and dinner, and my homemade ones are way better than the boxed ones. 

  

(Naked nails. No shame. It’s hard to paint them between baby feedings)

So the tricky thing is, I never measure when I make these… I just add the ingredients until the texture is right and call it good. So what I have here are estimates–the bars should stick together and you should be able to press the mixture into a brownie pan easily.

Peanut Butter Cranberry Granola Bars

3 cups old fashioned oats

1/4 cup flax seed

1/3 cup natural, smooth peanut butter (more if needed)

1/4 cup good honey

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut

2 tbs sunflower seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

2 tbs chia seeds

Put all ingredients except cranberries and seeds into a food processor. Pulse until combined. If it is not sticking together, add peanut butter and honey one tbs at a time until it reaches the right consistency. Stir in cranberries and seeds, then press the mixture into a brownie pan and cover with clear wrap. Place in freezer for at least two hours, then slice into bars and freeze in a ziplock bag.

So that’s that. In other related news, I’ve been occasionally wearing a girdle/control top shorts to get my waist back but over all not super bothering because…again…humid. Hot. Sweating and leaking breast milk. 

In the evenings we try to go on another short walk as a family once it cools down a bit. And today I went back to kick boxing and Nick and Red had a daddy son morning doing some household shopping. I didn’t do much jumping, but it felt great. 
If you girls have any questions or tips and recipes of your own, I’d love to see them in the comments!  

 
Happy Friday!

Around the Block

  

It’s been super, super hot the past few days. Granted, we were in the hospital for two of the Blazers, but the blazing is continuing. I typically love really warm temps, but with Baby Red, I get nervous about doing too much during the day because I’m a new mom and I’m scared of my chunky baby overheating…

So, we take early walks, and yesterday evening my husband and Lupe (our dog) and I went on a solo walk while Baby stayed with the grandparents at home. It was so weird, and quick because I missed him.  But nice to be with just nick for a while. 

I wore this gorgeous gingham dress yesterday from Eshakti to stay cool, plus it’s nursing friendly. 

    
    
    
  
 I love how country sweet it is, and that it has pockets. Is there anything better than a dress with pockets? No, I think not. Since you can customize your pieces from Eshakti, pockets are pretty much always an option. As is hem length and collar style. I stuck with pretty classic, and I love it. I also love my husband and evening walks and every second with my little boy. Life is oh so sweet.

Dress c/o EshaktiMaxi or shorter version

Shoes : old navy ( old)

First Week Baby Must-Haves (for us)

  

On the one hand I can’t believe is been ten days since our little one was born. On the other hand, it seems like much, much longer. The past week plus have been scary, difficult, magical, beautiful, confusing– so many things. I feel like a different person sometimes, and other times I feel like things are normalling out, and then still other times I feel like I’m experiencing some sort of out of body thing that’s not my real life. But motherhood is the greatest gift I could have imagined and I cannot believe how much love I feel for Redmond and my husband. It grows every day.  

The biggest time consumer of course is nursing. I was so scared my milk wouldn’t come in because I always read that it hurts (?) when it comes along, and I never felt anything… But thank god it came in before I left the hospital so I spend a good portion of my day trying to keep my little guy chunky and get him back up to his birthweight. 

 So, I got me some sore nips people. He hates the lanolin (much harder time latching after I use it) so This nipple butter has been my best friend. All natural, smells great, soothes the pain, Red doesn’t object. 

I have finicky nipples that don’t always come out, so we have been using nipple shields. It’s a pain, and I wish we didn’t have to but on the plus side he takes a bottle (I pump as well of course) like a champ.  These shields have been our favorites.

We have This electric breast milk pump ( provided by insurance thank goodness) and This hand pump. Both work great and make it so Nick can feed Red sometimes and give me a break.

Red is a serious milk fiend and drinks so hard and fast he often ends up inhaling milk and coughing up a storm. I always have a burp cloth on hand to soothe him and my cloths c/o Burp necessity are my favorite. It helps that they are super stylish and double as nursing covers.

 

The other nursing must have for us has been his Boppy. I can’t find the exact one we have, but I think they’re sort of all the same. A pillow is a pillow am I right? It makes positioning a little baby for nursing so much easier, and I can support him with one hand so my other can write posts, edit photos, answer emails… Or feed myself haha.

 
Sleeping is Reds other main activity obviously. He is a great napper so far (mostly, until late afternoon,?then all bets are off) and sleeps for about 2-3 hours between feeds at night. We have started trying to create a rhythm for him at least for this stage in life, so during the day we take his bassinet down to the sunny living room, and we put music on the iPad to differentiate from the dark quiet that is bedtime. Baby loves Fleet Foxes and Sigur Ros.

This bassinet was a gift, but it’s been amazing. He really likes it, and can see a little bit through the sides and had plenty of space to stretch during the day. I found a similar one which was surprisingly difficult.

This one is fussy looking with all the ruffles but I think underneath it’s almost exact. We don’t use the stand or fancy sheets. It’s a lot easier to move around on its own.  

During the day, we let him sleep unswaddled with just a blanket of its cool. It’s been a pretty warm August in Maine and baby boy is a sweater so he prefers this. But at night, we always swaddle him after he nurses and gets his diaper changed through the night. After he’s swaddled, he falls asleep on my chest and then gets put into his bassinet. So I’m glad we have a plethora of swaddle cloths. My favorites are from Aden and Anais and Little unicorn 

We also use Baby mittens at night because he likes his hands free and they get so cold in the air condition even when the rest of his little body is super sweaty. Plus they keep him from scratching his sweet face.

For mama ( that would be me), the necessities are as much for feeling grounded and normal as for “survival”.

First off, I neeeeeed to shower every day. Even the few times we’ve been on our own without Nick or my dad around, I put him to sleep, leave the bathroom door open, and shower. I wake up covered in milk all night (in fact, half the time I have Nick wake Red up by changing his diaper because my milk is floooowing) and sweat from the night sweats (it’s a thing) and I need to get clean. Also, getting dressed and spending some moments on myself has made me feel more human. That is, when we are not in the ER or staying at the hospital due to the multiple complications I’ve experienced…  

Pajamas that look like a dress have also been great. I get dressed most days but there has been several days that it was rainy or I was really tired after the ER night or was in the hospital (currently) that I just wanted to lounge, and cozy pjs that look like clothes made me feel more human. 

I can’t find the ones that I have, but This one and This one from Target are cheap and cute.

These nursing bras are supportive, wire free, and moderately cute. I have two and want more. Also, super affordable.
My stomach has pretty much resumed its normal flatness (at least when I’m standing).I did get a waist trainer– I will be doing a separate post on what I’ve been snacking on and the healthy treats I made in advance. 

Hopefully this insanely long post was helpful to soon-to-be first time moms! I’d love to hear what you other new mamas/experiences ones can’t live without! 

Rocksbox and Other Things

  
I was pretty psyched when Rocksbox reached out to me about being an ambassador because I’ve admired them and wanted to get the subscription for a while. But, you know, new baby means no fancy jewels for mama… Because, diapers.   

It’s a pretty fun little treat to have arrive in your mailbox, and it’s only 19$ per month which is a real deal if you aren’t saving every penny for a precious baby boy haha. Anyhow, you get to create a wishlist (I had this gorgeous necklace on mine) then they compile a fun trio of pieces based on your taste. I love delicate pieces with the occasional statement option so this was pretty perfect for me. If you like something you can buy it, or you can mail it all back (free!) and get more goodies. 

    

   
As a fun piece of trivia, (not really ) these close ups were real scary for me since I don’t wear make up on my face (lip color/mascara/occasional eyeliner is it… I hate having any sort of foundation on my skin). But sometimes I can be brave. 

  
   

I love the delicacy if the zigzag bracelet which looks like a lightening bolt which reminds me of Harry Potter which is the best thing ever. The earring are so delicate they didn’t really photograph, so just imagine them.

In closing, if you want to join the fun, you can use the code simplyhannahjoyxox for a month free to try it out. 

I’m recuperating today from a long night in the ER for heavy bleeding… I had some placenta and tissue left over in there that they had to remove. I’ve never been put under before and I was terrified and crying. Baby Red came with us and we were there from 1 am to 5:30 or so, and he took his bottle, had two diaper changes, barely made a peep, and slept through all the scary parts. I kept just saying how glad I was that it was me on the table, not my baby. Today I feel tired, weak, but better. We are praying that I don’t get an infection from it all…so if you pray please do, or think good thoughts or just cross you fingers for me. I’m sick of the hospital!

 
Luckily I have this face to keep my spirits oh so high!

Blue dress: I can’t find the exact one here, but this one is similar: Forever21

Tan silver slides: on sale for 12$!! Payless shoes

Romper: sold out from Forever 21

Blue sandals : super old 

Baby Reds Story

  
I wanted to write this up while it’s all fresh in my mind. It may take a few cuddle nap sessions (he’s sleeping on my chest right now) but I’ll get it down! 
 

My initial due date was put at August sixth. For my second ultrasound, they said I was measuring farther along and that baby could come closer to the end of July. But the end of July came and went, and I started to get nervous that I’d end up going past my original due date as well since I generally still felt pretty good every day. 

 
Tuesday, August 4th I went to the gym and did walking running intervals on the treadmill followed by a session on the stair stepper, then a few laps run around the track, lunges, squats, and a series of box jumps. I went grocery shopping afterwards and felt some twinges but nothing serious. I spent the rest of the day baking healthy nursing snacks to have on hand, made a big dinner for a group of five of us (we had family over) then walked three miles round trip with everyone for ice cream. On the walk back I started feeling contractions but didn’t mention it because I didn’t want everyone to get excited.

That night, as the contractions continued and intensified, my husband and I walked at least another mile and a half timing intervals. After over two hours of consistent contractions, we called it in. I was wearing a cute little dress, with my hair up and my make up still on from the day when they hooked me up to see where I was at. The midwife told me I was still only 1 cm dilated, and while the contractions were real, it was just early labor and could last days. So, utterly devastated, we went home.  

 That night was awful. I was having contractions continuously and barely slept in the breaks between them before being woken up by the next one. I called the midwife in the morning and she said to time them and call back. So we did. All day. I was nauseous, cold despite the heat, and discouraged because we could not get a consisting read no matter what we did and after my sleepless night, I was exhausted. Finally they stopped almost completely. I was near tears as Nick and I got ready to take our dog on a late night stroll, and broke down sobbing as we walked up town, crying that it had all been for nothing and I wasn’t going to meet our baby that night after all. About ten minutes into the walk, I was hit with a huge contraction that doubled me over. Ten minutes later, another. As we got home they started coming hard and fast, so intense that my entire body convulsed in shivers of shock afterwards. We started timing them and after fifty minutes when they were three minutes apart and lasting over a minute each we called the hospital, and I dragged myself to the car. This time, I was wearing my husbands sweatpants and sweatshirt (soaked in my own sweat) with disheveled hair, and I crawled on all fours into the back seat moaning deeply like a cow. Slightly different then Tuesday night but I still was too scared to hope. 

When I stepped out of the car I was hit with another, and bent over trying not to scream. Nick asked if I wanted a wheel chair and I hissed, “no way because I’ll feel like an f-Ing idiot if they send me home again!” So I hobbled my way into the maternity ward leaning heavily on Nick.  

When the midwife (my favorite midwife–I was so glad she was on call that night!) checked me, she said to me with a huge smile, “Hannah, you are almost six centimeters dilated and completely through the longest, hardest part! Your baby will be here so so soon!” I burst out crying and was brought into my room.
Things started out slowly at first. I was trying to keep away from pain managers and chose to do nitrate gas which is new in the states and only available in a few hospitals, though they’ve been using it in England for 150 years. It sort of centers your attention on what your doing (at least for me) and until I started pushing 5 hours later, I didn’t really need it. The midwife and my husband applied pressure on the areas that hurt during each contraction–my lower back, my hips, my tail bone, and I was able to get to 9 cm by 5 am. At that point, the pain was so intense that I asked about the epidural, but my amazing midwife told me I was so close I didn’t need it and was strong enough to make it. She broke my water, and pulled my cervix aside (I know…) and I started pushing my baby out at 5:15. The pain was insane. I started panicking, and kept saying “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” The midwife told me to take some of the gas, and after I did, I focused  in on the pain and pushed like crazy. It felt like my body was on fire, like I was going to snap in two, and it felt like it would never end. They asked if I wanted a mirror and I screamed no because I knew if I saw what was going on, I’d panic again. Finally, after the worst moments of pain imaginable, the head and shoulders came out, and all at once he was born. When they held him up at 6 am, my first thought was “holy shit, how did I push that huge baby out of my vagina?” He was born on his due date after 6 hours of hospital labor.

They placed my boy on my chest, and cleared the liquid from his mouth as he gave his first cries and I cried with him. For love, for relief, for his arrival, for the love I felt pouring out of me for my husband. 

Redmond weighed in at 9 lb 15 oz. so, we can call that 10 I think. 

   
   
He met lots of friends and relatives within those two days at the hospital, and we worked on mastering breast feeding together. It was a great stay, but we were all glad to head home by Saturday.

   
 The past two days at home have been wonderful. We have ventured out for a few walks, and I fall more in love with Baby Red and my husband every day. 

Sorry this was so ridiculously long! And hope your Monday wasn’t too bad!