Thursday, August 28, 2014

GapKids Class of 2014

I'm a sucker for all things Gap so when I saw this in my IG feed, I immediately signed Kinsey up!  Heck yes, we would love to be in a store window campaign!  I remember hanging those posters up when I worked for Gap 4 years ago, this would be like coming full circle.

*Super bummed I couldn't download the sweet video that Gap made with the pictures I contributed of Kinsey, hoping the problem will be resolved soon.  And then I'll share : )*

{GapKids Class of 2014 is open for entrants until September 15th!}


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Postpartum dressing: hiding the tummy

Postpartum dressing: hiding the tummy

Liz Claiborne top / Liz claiborne top / Red cardigan / Daisy Fuentes top / LC Lauren Conrad top / Old Navy short sleeve top / A N A short sleeve top / Daisy Fuentes clothing

Since giving birth 4 weeks ago, I have been on a mission to dress my body:
  1. comfortably 

     2.   discreetly, to camouflage the baby belly.

I found some helpful sites through Pinterest (visit herehere and here) that got me excited about dressing during my fourth trimester and also got me in the right frame of mind when shopping for transitional pieces.  

I've been living in my black GAP jeggings that I purchased after having Kinsey 3.5 years ago; they have the perfect amount of stretch, make me look slim, and in all honesty, they're the only button and zip- up pants I own that fit me right now! Unfortunately, I noticed they are beginning to pill in the back so I purchased an alternate pair of gray jeggings from Kohl's. My maxi skirt has made an appearance a couple of times this summer and I also wore my yoga pants a few times at home.  So basically, anything with lots of stretch and preferably in black or darker colors for slimming.

Anything that visually draws the eye away from the belly or covers it up in a flattering way is what I'm going for these days.  Ruffles, a large print, dark colors, loose- flowing tops are all good!
Stripes this wide I can handle!
The Piko top on: nice and drapey


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Daze

With a newborn our Family activities have been concentrated outdoors to minimize germ exposure and to keep from going stir crazy at home.
Baby wearing: my view of Brielana in the Moby
Our favorite things this summer included beach walks with Stella, picnics at The Grass, park play and family walks around the neighborhood.

Thankful for the sunshine but decidedly over the flea problem the warmer weather brings. We've had to do some hardcore de-bugging; flea baths for Stella, repeated wash cycles and a spray down with Vetkem Premise spray which we got from our Vet and has awesome reviews. Another product that was helpful- Dawn soap (the original blue one!) Brian used Dawn as flea shampoo and they literally jumped off the dog and drowned in the tub.

Officially, summer has transitioned into "fall" according to the school buses waiting at the curb twice a day and I'm a little baffled how that happened so fast?  But still waiting anxiously till its boot wearing weather!

{Feeling so blessed Brielana has shared this summer with us.}


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Returning to Work: Pumping Essentials

Returning to Work: Pumping Essentials

Returning to Work: Pumping Essentials by work-it-mommy on Polyvore

I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home with Brielana through her first year of life, but after I had Kinsey, I was back to work after 2 months and pumping became my breast friend (har har).  Since I am a firm believer in breast is best, I thought I would share my favorite pumping essentials to continue successful feeding even after returning to work.  It really just breaks down to logistics and good products that are readily available.

1.  Medela Pump in Style Advanced breast Pump with backpack- I got my pump from Kinsey's pediatrician and I love this model.  It is efficient, has several levels of suction for comfort, and is easy to tote around.  All the components (chargers, ice pack and case, four bottles, membranes, and two nipple shields) are included (though I did purchase larger shields for comfort's sake.)  
**I found it easiest for me to express into the bottles and then transfer the milk into the milk bags.**
2. Lansinoh milk bags- I have used several brands of milk bags and would recommend you use the brand you like.  I found these to be priced the best but would love to try these out.
3. Sharpie-  First thing I do is write the date of expression onto the milk bags.  Always use the oldest date first when giving to your baby.  Milk will last a few days in the fridge and up to 6 months in the freezer.  Periodically go through and throw out milk past due.
**I keep all my supplies- Sharpie, milk bags, extra membranes in a Ziplock bag stashed within the backpack.**
4. Medela Quick Clean Breastpump and Accessory wipes- For quick clean up at work I rinse out and dry the pumping bottles and then wipe down all parts (nipple shields, membranes, bottles) with these wipes.  Its quick and easy and makes clean up a breeze.
**These fit perfectly in the front half zip compartment of the backpack.**
5. Medela 5 count Quick Clean Micro-Steam Sterilization bags- Once I get home I pop all my pumping parts into a bag (each bag can be used 20 times, making it well worth the money!) add water and microwave for 3 minutes.  That's it.  It steam sterilizes and you're good to go for tomorrows pumping sessions.
6. The Nursing Mother's Companion- This book was recommended by my Lactation Consultant and I love it; it is extremely easy to read, choke-full of information about nursing and the index contains a bunch of addendum's from vitamins/ supplements, and how-tos on curing mastitis,  unblocking clogged milk ducts and increasing milk supply .
7. Lilypadz- Instead of soaking up leaks these breast pads prevent the leaks altogether.  Each pair can last continuously up to 2 months.
8. Hooter Hider's Nursing Covers- Not only is this nursing cover adorable (check out those ruffles!), it has a longer length and a just-in-case pocket.
**There is a convenient side pocket on the backpack that fits a rolled up nursing cover perfectly.**
9. Bravada Designs Allure Nursing Bra- A good nursing bra is a MUST HAVE and Bravada bras are my favorite.  I like this design because it has underwire for extra support.  And it's pretty as far as nursing bras go ;)

Visit here for lactation supporting foods and drinks.

What are your favorite nursing products? If you have any questions or product recommendations, please feel free to share!


Monday, August 4, 2014

One Month

How old: 1 month!
Weight: 9. 7 ounces {up 2 pounds}
Length: 21.5 inches {up 2.5 inches}
Baby clothes: 0-3 months size
Diaper size: Size 1
Sleep: Naps more than is awake, but she's slowly starting to stay awake for longer stretches during the morning.  She only wakes up 3 times during the night to feed (great for Mommy!)
Feeding: Every 90 minutes to 2 hours, the exception being at night- she will cluster feed before falling asleep.
Likes: To be held!  She's a great cuddler!
Dislikes: Having hiccups and doing Tummy Time.
Milestones: She is focusing and tracking people/ objects.  Her neck muscles are getting stronger.  And some would say she is really smiling and not having "gas smiles" :)


Friday, August 1, 2014

Lactation Supporting foods and drinks

Lactation Supporting foods and drinks

Lactation Supporting foods and drinks by work-it-mommy on Polyvore

I'm in the throes of breastfeeding a one month old- where did the time go?! Oh yeah, must have been all those sleepless nights harhar. Keeping up with supply and demand is exhausting but keeping up your milk supply shouldn't be. By eating and drinking these foods you can naturally and healthily stay full- pun intended :)

Almonds and cashews are believed to boost breastmilk production. (source

Chickpeas are a complete protein. (source)

Red lentils are not only believed to improve milk supply but are also high in iron and fiber. (source

Spinach and asparagus are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins as well as phytoestrogen which is believed to enhance lactation. (source)

are high in fiber, Vitamins A, C, potassium and calcium. (source)

Papaya's lactogenic properties have not been studied, but it is thought that the enzymes and phytochemicals in papaya may enhance breast tissue as well as improve lactation. Papaya has also been used as a natural sedative. The sedating quality may help you to relax, and at the same time help with the milk let-down process. (source)

Oats are a great source of iron, calcium and fiber. (source

Brown rice a complex carbohydrate, which provides mom with energy needed for breastfeeding, but it also helps with milk production in another way. Researchers have discovered that eating brown rice may cause an increase in serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your moods, appetite, and sleep, but it also stimulates prolactin secretion. Prolactin, as mentioned earlier, is a key hormone involved in lactation. (source)

Carrots, sweet potatoes and beets are high in beta-carotene, which is beneficial for your baby if you are breastfeeding. Beets and sweet potatoes are high in iron and help to maintain the liver. (source)

Drinking more water is one of the best ways to improve your milk supply. Nursing depletes your body of fluids so it makes sense that drinking water will help you to stay hydrated and produce more milk. Don’t get carried away though, only drink when thirsty. (source)

Mother's Milk tea contains fenugreek which is an herb that is most often used for increasing milk supply (source).  I'm a tea drinker in general so I enjoyed my daily cup, it has a licorice-like taste.  My Lactation Consultant said it is safe to have up to 3 cups a day but the one did it for me.

Visit here to see my top picks for successful pumping at work!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Fourth of July: Brielana's birth story

 She's here!!!  After two membrane strips and two cancelled inductions, our second blessing finally graced us with her presence (on her time table):

My 39th week of pregnancy was feeling like a drag. I guess I was disappointed that I didn't have another early bird and it started to make me weary. At my Tuesday appointment I got my membrane stripped hoping to jump start labor and was put down for an induction the following day.  Well I have a huge fear of Pitocin and not wanting to be in the hospital longer than necessary, I promptly cancelled. At my follow up appointment 2 days later on Thursday, I was stripped again and was scheduled for an induction the following day: Fourth of July.

{Forgive this backtrack}  When I found out I was pregnant I instinctively knew I would have an Independence day baby and as the day was approaching I was starting to get anxious it would come and go with no baby. And that made me really nervous. And fearful. Totally irrational but the feelings were there nonetheless. So, scheduling the induction even though I was against Pitocin was like my fail- safe. But everything always works out...Thank you God.

I was fine all day Thursday, no contractions just slight spotting which is normal. I went to bed late after falling asleep with Kinsey in her bed. True to form I got up 3 times to go to the restroom and was feeling uncomfortable but wasn't really thinking about contractions (because truthfully, I had forgotten what they felt like. No joke.)

At 4a I was awake and definitely having contractions (I finally remembered what they felt like!) I put myself in the shower while simultaneously timing them: 1 min long, 5-8 minutes apart. I called my doctor and he directed me to go the hospital, "to get the show on the road."

I woke up Brian at 5a and we were administered and in the delivery room by 5:30a. I was hooked up to the IV to be hydrated for my epidural and began the hour countdown until I was able to get it.

 At admittance I was 4 cm. My doctor broke my bag of waters at 6a and I ordered my epidural at 6:30a to have it by 7a (there was a 30 minute wait from ordering til receiving). My contractions were close together but only lasted 1 minute so they were manageable.  If I sat up and rocked my hips back and forth on the edge of the bed (a birthing ball would have been great for this purpose but alas.) I kept my focus by praying, rocking and breathing and was praised by the nurse for "excellent control" ;).

The epidural was a quick process this time around and I didn't feel so helpless and out of control while it was injected. I didn't have complete numbing so I still felt each contraction but it was a dull pain that was mostly concentrated in my lower back. I was checked again at 7:30a and I was already at 7 cm!

At 8a my doctor came back in and announced, "My sixth sense is telling me a baby is going to be born. Are you ready?" Because I could still feel my contractions we used them as a natural push aide and with 3 or 4 pushes, my second miracle daughter was welcomed into the world at 8:13a!

She let out a hearty wail and I was completely shocked to see her full head of dark hair!  She was everything I had hoped for and more because she was finally in my arms; breathing, healthy, beautiful. Brielana Kennedy weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and measured 19 inches long.  She immediately took to nursing.

Her big sister was the first to meet her and even helped the nurse give her a bath!  

We spent the day in relative peace and ended the day watching Peter Pan, a daughter on each side of me.  Perfection.