413c820bb21cd09a23535c140057f83729ced692af2597b84f .post-body img { max-width:1000px; height:auto; } Friday We're In Love Google

Monday, November 23, 2015

Pregnancy Photos Week by Week

Two months after you have the baby is probably the right time to post your pregnancy week-by-week in review photos, right? I'm slowly catching up on life here after baby, and I really wanted to document this. I love seeing the progression of pregnancy and I couldn't resist doing this for myself, even if it's a little on the late side! 
Bodies are incredible and it's amazing mine just knew how to grow a baby (after several weeks of hormone and fertility help). All I can say is hooray for not being 39 weeks pregnant! And the last pic really is 40 weeks, we had him one day shy of his due date.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Halloween 2015

When Halloween hits one month postpartum it can be a bit rough! I was ready to forgo our normal creativity and just skip out on our favorite holiday party like a Scrooge. We had more drama this year than you could imagine! I was seriously barely even showering at this point postpartum, and pulling together costumes without being able to leave the house seemed impossible. I had almost no clothes that fit me/were nursing friendly, and I knew I had a lot to pull together without time or resources. We had one idea, and I couldn't find the right sized costume for a newborn anywhere online. Then we had another, and I found one I thought would work (size newborn), ordered it, only to have it show up 12 months instead of newborn size. I was going to borrow some friend's stuff and it should have all worked out easily. We found out one of our darling hosts were going to be our plan B, and that our friends had already loaned their amazing stuff. I seriously doubted we'd be in costume this year at this point. I decided to try one more time. It forced me to mix it up and get creative with a plan C. This was all before I knew Mack's costume was way too big! It came, and I almost decided to call it quits after one more hurdle. Then the sewing bug bit and I sewed a furry costume only to decide it was too big and the same as what I'd ordered. Good news, he's set for next year! I honestly felt so sad, my 2nd thought the day I saw a positive pregnancy test (after my first being what the due date would be) was, "What will I dress this baby for Halloween?!?" I think half the reason you have a baby is to dress it in something darling for Halloween! And here I was days before stumped.

As we got closer I couldn't come up with family costumes for the life of me, then under pressure, I came up with about 10 family themed ideas to work with a newborn. Time was limited, so I had to get resourceful. I'm so grateful pressure hit, because it blossomed my creativity, forced me to work fast and cheap, and I luckily was able to borrow a brilliant costume my sister made a few years ago that worked with a dress I could make work. I am pleased with the outcome, I haven't seen this family theme before so I felt pretty original and I'm still in shock it came together!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The 12 Dates of Christmas

I was asked to participate in the #SayMore campaign, sponsored by Hershey’s and Walgreens. Although I have been compensated, all ideas and opinions are my own! 

I can hardly believe it's almost Christmas, and I'm in full blown preparation mode over here! A trip to Walgreens reminded me there are Christmas items ready to purchase and one even inspired me today to give a special side gift to Jacob before the big day!

We're already seeing party invites roll in and our schedules fill up fast. I love that I get to spend time with those I love, but I always have the reminder that even during the holiday season the person I love most and want to spend the most time with is my husband!

I've given him A Year of Dates (one preplanned pre-paid date for each month) several times to enjoy throughout the year, but this year I thought I'd do something a little different to shake it up, surprise him. I wanted to #SayMore this holiday season by making this holiday season special, and had the idea to play off the 12 Days of Christmas and give him the 12 DATES OF CHRISTMAS.

I'm going to kickoff 12 days before Christmas with a letter and an extra special box of chocolates. I couldn't get over the Kisses Deluxe by Hershey, obviously the kisses for romantic reasons, and the hazelnut center and deluxe size to let any recipient know they are getting something extra special!

Here's what my letter says:


Merry Christmas! I wanted to surprise you a little early and make sure you know that even during a busy season you are worth all my time and effort and we still can create a lot of fun dates together, even if we’ll be bringing the baby with us on a few!

I wanted to say more this holiday season than just Merry Christmas, I wanted you to know that each day you are my greatest gift, so I’m gifting you something a little early.

As the classic Christmas song has the true love give 12 Days of Christmas, I wanted to give you 12 DATES OF CHRISTMAS. That’s right, for the next 12 days we’ll be having at least a mini-date every night together to celebrate the season and let you know just how special you are.

Look for a new activity each day, you’ll know them when you see them- they’ll each be attached to a Hershey’s Kisses Deluxe!

I love you more than anything and can’t wait to have some fun this Christmas season!


I'll be leaving him a paper describing the date with a Hershey's Kisses Deluxe kiss attached each day for him to find and enjoy!
12 DATES of Christmas

12 DATES of Christmas

I used the song as a guide and tried to make a theme for each day. Some worked perfect, some were a bit of a stretch.
12 DATES of Christmas

12 DATES of Christmas Gift
Here's a list of our dates for those who can't read the microscopic writing in the picture. But for those who can- kudos!


On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Partridge in a Pear Tree.
And we may just see one as we head to our favorite lit up neighborhood to look at lights together and all the decorated trees.

On the Second day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Turtle Doves
Or maybe two turtle cupcakes. We’ll head to our favorite bakery and grab some cupcakes and cake bites and enjoy a sweet treat together.

On the Third day of Christmas my true love sent to me
French Hens
At least there will be three of us! Tonight we’ll make our favorite Christmas cookies together for a family date.

On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Four Calling Birds
We’re going to give those birds a place to call and make gingerbread houses tonight.

On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Five Gold Rings
We’re going to head to the bookstore tonight and choose five of our favorite Christmas books to build our baby’s library and have a stash of Christmas books to read together as a family.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Six Geese a-Laying
We’ll be celebrating with our own Christmas themed breakfast for dinner tonight. It’s a special one, and there will likely be some sparkling cider to top it off.

One the Seventh Day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Seven Swans a-Swimming
Luckily he ends up not going for the swim at the end, but we’ll cozy up on the couch and watch It’s a Wonderful Life together tonight.

On the Eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Eight Maids a-Milking
Luckily they’ll be done, and we’ll enjoy a hot chocolate bar together at home.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Nine Ladies Dancing
There may be a few more, and several are children, but tonight we’re going to the Nutcracker.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Ten Lords a-Leaping
Hopefully the leaping is minimal, but we’ll see some of it as we hit up the ice rink and go ice-skating together.

One the Eleventh Day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Eleven Pipers Piping
Time to own up that we both play the piano and play a few songs together and pretend we can sing. We’ll spare the neighbors from caroling, but we’ll have our own Christmas song night in. Don’t worry, we’ll make sure the doors and windows are shut tight!

One the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love sent to me
Twelve Drummers Drumming

We’re going to head to the Christmas concert series at the temple tonight to hear orchestra music and look at the lights as a family.

I can hardly wait to see the look on his face and to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with the most wonderful man in my life! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Those Magical Hours After Birth- 5 Things to Know About the First Few Hours After Labor & Delivery

Thank you ViaCord for sponsoring this post. Learn more about cord blood banking with ViaCord here

After we had Mack my friend Kayla came to see us and told me to please excuse her if she teared up in the hospital because she could feel the beautiful magic emotion that only comes from those magical first few hours and days after birth. I don't think I fully comprehended what she meant until we were leaving the hospital and I realized we were heading back into the world, away from our little secluded hospital room where the world stood still and it was only the three of us.

It's such a whirlwind experience to go through labor and have a short matter of time to recover before you go home that I think a lot breezes by without the real time to think through things and process some of the decisions you are making, and some of the resources that may be available. Add this to being first time parents and we just didn't feel well informed about many things that I wish we could have researched in advance! Some things we had, some things we hadn't, but I decided either way I wanted to make a list of five things everyone should know about the first 24 hours after birth, in hopes it will help someone else out there educate themselves before the big day comes!

1. Placenta Encapsulation- This was one I'd researched and known about and I'm so glad I did! I've posted about this one already, but really, bringing a cooler to the delivery room and saving the placenta to be encapsulated was a life saver for me. I had an amazing recovery time and it helped milk come in faster and baby blues stay away. It's something so many hear about after it's too late. If you're interested in it at all I highly recommend it- research it more with it's benefits and find a service in your area. Just make sure you're prepared in advance because you need to save it and have it taken away pretty shortly after delivery.

2. Delaying the Cutting of the Umbilical Cord- Some doctors will recommend against this for medical reasons on a case-by-case basis, but generally speaking this is becoming more and more popular and it's something so easy to do in the moment, so long as it's communicated. We had zero jaundice with Mack, and I can't help but attribute the delay (even though ours was shorter than most delays) to waiting an extra minute or so.

3. Cord Blood Banking- I'd had one flyer come in the mail and that's as far as I went with this. However, after watching a friend's young child suffer with Leukemia (wishing they had a few more treatment options) I really wish I'd researched this more! This video helps gives a quick overview of how cord blood banking works. A little bit about it: Cord blood banking is the process of collecting and storing the blood remaining in your newborn’s umbilical cord. The blood within your newborn baby's umbilical cord contains young stem cells that have an amazing power to heal. Cord blood stem cells are doing amazing things today — healing serious diseases and changing lives for the better. Cord Blood has been proven in treatment to help children replace damaged blood cells w/healthy ones and strengthen immune system. As of today, it can be used in the treatment of ~ 80 diseases, including certain cancers, genetic diseases and blood disorders. This quick video breaks it down.
It's much more affordable than I originally thought. I really wish we'd known more about it and looked into it before we were too late and already had the baby. It's doing amazing things and saving many lives! Seriously, I wish we'd looked into companies like ViaCord much sooner!

4. Get a Lactation Consultant Immediately- I was in complete shock how hard breastfeeding is and how few resources there are available! At this point in motherhood I honestly think it's a miracle if anyone is able to do it full-time and although there are many medical and personal reasons some don't breastfeed, I know many who would have had they had more help and more resources! I had one come in my second day in the hospital and a lot of damage had already been done that could have been avoided. Had I not had that second day visit I'm not sure we would have figured it out enough on our own. Don't be afraid to ask for help- even in the delivery room when you try to do that first hour latch with kangaroo care! Even if you have it fairly down, don't be shy about asking for products, they have several to help ease any pain and it can make a huge difference! Any tips are so beneficial and I think we stayed that extra day in the hospital just to get breastfeeding down the best we could. 

5. Medical Procedures- There's a lot they will do to you and to your baby and you have every right to refuse or to ask about them before they happen. "What shot are you giving my baby and why?" "Why do I need that?" I knew some of these things in advance but was surprised how much more they threw our way. I had an easy labor and and healthy delivery with minimal medication, but I still felt like I was out of the loop. For the most part I was fine with everything they did, but I wasn't so thrilled about the formula bottle they gave him due to lower blood sugar from my gestational diabetes. I even had a lactation consultant back up my thoughts after it all happened- his levels weren't that low and he would have been okay to have nursed with a lactation consultant. I didn't know they tested blood sugar in the baby and I wish I would have refused the bottle and ate a few more sugary items while in labor! That's one small example, but there are a lot of medications, procedures, and routines that you may have to ask for, or may want to refuse. Research these, call your hospital if you need to, and be prepared to at least ask why they are doing what they are doing before it happens so you aren't caught of guard and out of the loop. 

Those precious hours spent alone in the hospital should be a magic time where you feel informed, empowered, and prepared. I'd highly recommend a little preparation so you can focus on that magic time and really make the most of the time after delivery. 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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