6.15.2017

what's in my diaper bag?



now that i'm a mama of two, what i'm carrying with me on the daily is a little different--and a little heavier. i had become so used to carrying a small bag with just a couple of diapers and snacks for hadley, because toddlers don't need much, and honestly i forgot just how much newer babies need, especially on long days out. you can never be too prepared.

first, the bag. i came to realize that shoulder bags just would notttt cut it especially now having to carry items for two babes, and opted for a backpack. something cute yet simple enough that david wouldn't feel too embarrassed to carry. enter, the fawn design bag. it's roomy, easy to clean, can be carried both backpack and messenger style and is just all around aesthetically pleasing to me. i have the color bloom (a soft creamy-white-pink kinda color) and i truly love it.

next--let's be honest--i have your standard hair-ties, bobby pins and receipts that i have to dig through before i reach the good stuff...because really this could also be called the "black hole," but i'll spare you pictures of those for now ;)

so what's a diaper bag without diapers? our favorites are kirkland brand (from costco) and seventh generation--wipes as well. the changing pad that we love so so much is by gathre. it's stain-resistant, super compact and so easy to clean. best of all the bonded leather makes it sleek and stylish and when have you ever said that about a changing mat?!

we always have to have some kind of swaddle blanket. we love this white one from max + moose. we also really love our merino wool swaddle by chasing windmills kids. my wardrobe these days consists of baggy t-shirts loose enough to nurse in without a cover but i always, always carry a covered goods nursing cover with me just in case. best part about this? it's multi-use. when i'm not nursing it's on amelia's carseat protecting her from bright sun, wind and light rain.

i never leave the house without some type of baby carrier (i'll be doing a post on baby-wearing later and all the benefits because i love it so much!). in my bag currently is the solly baby wrap, but i also have a happy baby wrap, as well two ring slings. this is my life saver for grocery trips with two kiddos.

amelia has yet to use it a ton but i always have a pacifier with a clip at all times. like i said, right now it's mostly just in case because she prefers the boob, but i'm sure she will come to love it just like her older sister did. for baby girl i also carry a drool bib and some rattles/teethers. the bib is to keep her clothes from getting dirty either from that sweet baby slobber or spit up (which is more frequent at this point) and to be honest it's also just so cute. we prefer wooden teethers and rattles. the ones pictured here are from finn + emma via anthropologie as well as schoolhouse naturals.

besides all of the above, i always carry snacks, a change of clothes for amelia, sunglasses for hadley (thank you target dollar section!!!), hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

what are your must haves in your diaper bag? have anything you cannot leave the house without?? comment below and let me know!! also, be sure to follow me on instagram because i've got a little giveaway going on tomorrow!

**full disclosure: occassionally i receive product for promotional/review purposes but all statements and opinions above are my own personal opinions. you may click links in this post to be directed to the companies/websites and learn more about the products featured in this blog**

5.30.2017

silence + apathy


back when i was almost twenty weeks pregnant, there was a moment where i completely freaked out about the new little babe growing in my belly. okay...there were many moments. but i knew they wouldn't last. i knew my heart would grow twice its size, expand so much i couldn't even begin to fathom it...at least, that's what i was told.

i was told i wouldn't be able to remember life without two. i was told i would fall in love with her like i did with my first.

and then she was born. amelia mercy.

there was no expansion, no magical moment where we 'found our missing puzzle piece' to the family. more than anything, i was just completely relieved to no longer be pregnant. i was thankful for a quick and easy delivery and healthy baby, but i was confused and--much like at twenty weeks pregnant--i began to panic about what life would be like with this new little babe.

the first few days with our new girl were like most newborn days: leaky breasts, diaper changes, crying and loads upon loads of laundry.

after two days, hadley came home from her nana and popop's and i had a terrifying realization: i am full of apathy for this baby.

around the two week mark, towards the end of david's time off, i broke down. amelia was crying, hadley was cooking in her play kitchen and i lost it. i set amelia in the cradle and ran into the bathroom.

what is wrong with me?! i screamed at david. we have no connection! i feel like i don't even love her!

there i was, hysterical, sitting on the toilet (seat down) balling to david--bless his soul--and he essentially told me to pull myself together and feed my hungry daughter...which was not what i was expecting. i thought he could pull me out of this, say something that would suddenly change the way i was feeling.

but what i have been learning is that change does not happen the way we wish it would: suddenly. change and growth, with most things, happens in silence. where it seems almost as if nothing is happening.

so for a whole month i beat myself up, continually made myself feel guilty and questioned myself as a mother, a woman, even a human. what was wrong with me that i couldn't even bring myself to love this tiny, fragile, cooing baby girl? one who, i must add, we were so incredibly eager to meet.

yet all the while, we were sharing these moments in the silence: 11 pm and 2 am feedings, talking and staring at each other while big sister naps. slowly and silently my heart for her began to grow and i wasn't even aware. until this past weekend.

i pulled amelia off of my breast as she finished nursing and stared at her big gray-blue eyes, her pursed lips with traces of breastmilk still lingering and her button nose that looks an awful lot like her big sister's.

she's cute, i told david.

my heart was buzzing with warmth and i felt this sudden surge of energy, this rush of emotion welling up inside of me. i love you, i couldn't help but whisper to her. and i really really meant it.

mother teresa once said: the trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence. the stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. 

how lovely, then, is the silence.

5.19.2017

sweat, milk and slowing down


i frantically run around the apartment, crying baby in one hand, a pile of laundry in the other.

"hadley, put your clogs by the front door! 1-2-3... hadley do you want to see friends today? you need to help mama clean up!" i try my best to stay calm and sweet. but really i'm not trying that hard.

the kitchen is a mess, the bathroom disgusting, we have overflowing laundry baskets which means i have absolutely no clean nursing bras and it has been two days since i last showered.

yet i've somehow managed to scoop up the girls three days in a row to get out of the apartment and meet up with people or make appointments.

i smell of sweat and old breastmilk, my mascara is crusty, my roots are greasy and i am living on granola bars and cup after cup of reheated coffee.

i dig to the bottom of a drawer to find a clean shirt, throw on my maternity pants (which keep falling off every time i get up to walk but hey i don't fit into my normal jeans yet!) and slather on some deodorant.

quickly i get hadley dressed and set amelia in the moses basket. please stop crying, i ask her and pray simultaneously. i look over and hadley has granola bar all over her face.

ok, it's ok, who are you trying to impress? i ask myself. and honestly i'm not too sure. myself maybe? proving that i have achieved some sense of normalcy again? that i can do this? that i can indeed handle two kids?

i light a candle. and then another. then i blow the second out. overkill.

ok, maybe i'm trying to impress more than myself here. this is just a fellow mama, going out of her way to bring me a meal. me, who just had a baby two and a half weeks ago. and i am running around like a maniac through all the rooms trying to clean up the evidence. nope! no new mom here, it seems i'm trying to allude.

but that's the truth. i just had a baby. i've been running on adrenaline because i get too stir crazy sitting around the house all day. i'm not a homebody. that's just not who i am. i need to get out and be in nature, be with crowds of people. that's what brings me life. what energizes me.

so to sit around in this mess for a week now that david has gone back to work, it's kind of driving me insane... which is why i haven't just sat. i've forced myself and the girls out.

being busy helps. it distracts me from the mess at home, from the fact that i am exhausted and from letting myself slip back into depression.

BUT

being busy makes time fly. as if it didn't already go fast enough.

i call my mom to see how her job interviews are going. i tell her we have company coming and i am essentially that chicken running around with its head cut off.

"she's a mom. she understands...she gets it. all of your cleaning can wait."

all of this--my pride, this proving myself or whatever the heck it is--i finally realize has been getting in my way of soaking it up. soaking up these first few weeks with two. slowing down and truly, truly enjoying them.

these moments will not last. hadley's first few years flew by faster than a blink. and i know amelia's will as well. so starting now, i'm giving myself permission--giving you permission, if you're a new mama, especially of multiples--to let the dishes pile up, let the laundry overflow, order pizza, let people come help if they're offering. because life already moves too fast to hurry it on faster.

it doesn't mean you can't handle it. because if i have learned anything in the last few weeks it's that i really can handle it. i can do it and it made me feel like superwoman.

but, that isn't the point. give yourself the grace to soak it up. enjoy the slowness, the laying around and the mess before it's--all too soon--gone.