Showing posts with label delainey2016. Show all posts
Showing posts with label delainey2016. Show all posts

December 8, 2016

Delainey's Birth Story + Our Moment of Truth

If you're a woman and you have ever taken a pregnancy test, you know that feeling... Whether or not you're planning on having a baby, the second it comes down to the results appearing after taking a pregnancy test can be nerve-wracking. It's either going to come up positive and you are officially expecting or it's going to come up negative and it's time to try again. You want a test that's reliable to provide you with that kind of result. That's why, when I was late last year and wondering what was happening, I opted to use e.p.t., the original home pregnancy test invented nearly 40 years ago.

I can still remember the day we found out we were pregnant with Delainey. It was the most amazing feeling watching two lines show up on the test and knowing that we were going to be welcoming a life into this world. With e.p.t.'s accuracy rate of 99.9%, I knew it was officially happening as soon as the lines started to show. We tried for years, so this wasn't my first rodeo with a test, but it was the first time the whole testing thing resulted in a baby around nine months later.  Sharing the news with our family, hearing her heartbeat, seeing her on an ultrasound, it was all so amazing... and the nine month journey started with just a little plus sign on a test I took at home.

During those nine months, I learned so much about myself and found out my body is capable of things I never even thought were possible. I learned that hormones really do play a role in your emotions and that sometimes they are truly uncontrollable. I also learned to love my body - while it may have expanded, it also created a life and that is beyond amazing.

The life it created came into the world 9 days early, during Hurricane/Tropical Storm Hermine, while my doctor was out of town.

But let me start at the beginning... we were walking around Target browsing the aisles, when I got super uncomfortable and knew something was different. These contractions weren't just Braxton Hicks, they were intense and almost indescribable, that's when I told my husband I thought we should leave... and he knew something was up, mainly because I never say I want to leave Target.

After we got in the car I called my Doctor's office to be reminded he was out of town. I spoke with his assistant instead and she told me to just wait it out and to call again if those feelings got closer together or my water broke, otherwise I just had to wait. Later that afternoon they got more intense but I waited to call, then around 7pm, I knew it was time to call. We phoned the doctor, which meant she called the hospital ahead of time for us, and they had a bed open waiting for me when I arrived. They started to monitor my contractions and after about an hour of monitoring they decided it was time.

To say I was nervous is an understatement... but I was also so excited. We spent so many years preparing for this day and it was finally here.

While I'll spare you the gory details about my actual labor, I will say I spent around 20 hours in labor total, from the time my doctor told me to wait it out until 12:01pm on September 2nd.

Those 20 hours proved to me I'm capable of anything like bearing through unbelievable pain, adapting to unexpected change, laughing in the face of what I should fear, and so much more. I gave life to something so amazing that day, but honestly, she gave life to me.

And what is the craziest part of it all, you may ask? I would do it all again, in a heart beat... and when we decide it's time to try again, I'll only turn to e.p.t. to give me the answer I seek in that moment of truth.

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

December 7, 2016

5 Tips to Help You Perfect Your SELF SHOT Family Photo!

Taking a family photo can be a daunting task, from avoiding a double chin, to the one family member that excessively blinks, to a baby that wants to be fed at the exact time your shoot is scheduled, getting a family portrait perfect isn't always easy! This year I feel like we kinda have mastered the whole deal though. Even with a few funny outtakes, everything went smoothly and we were able to get some gorgeous photos of my Daughter.
If you're planning a holiday shoot soon, I highly suggest you check these 5 tips out to help you and your family perfect your photo this year!

1. Make sure everyone is fed - Making sure we all have a good meal just before the shoot is important... we don't want any "hangry" episodes. I've shared before that Delainey is exclusively breast-fed, but that doesn't mean that I don't pump and share the task of feeding on occasion. The morning before our photoshoot was definitely one of these occasions, we made sure Delainey got a good full feed in with Philips Avent Anti-colic bottles.

These cool bottles are perfect for my babe. Many people have trouble finding a bottle their baby accepts, but luckily we never had that problem. These were one of the first bottles we tried, actually, and she's always excited when she gets to have a meal from her Avent bottle! She's not the only one that enjoys feeds with an Avent bottle though, we love it when she feeds from these too! Mainly because they do exactly as they say and reduce gas, making all of our lives easier! We also love that these bottles are easy to assemble and clean, making for a quick feed no matter what the occasion!

While we've never had to deal with colic (*knock on wood*), many families do. Luckily, these bottles and their amazing vented system help reduce colic and studies have shown babies fed with Philips Avent Anti-colic bottles experienced 60% less fussing at night. Don't take my word for it though, Philips Avent partnered with actress (and new mama) Sarah Chalke and she's experienced the woes and worries of colic herself and has real life evidence that these Anti-colic bottles help!

Other than making sure your baby is fed, it's best to make sure their feeding is going to be as comfortable and rewarding as possible and that's why we choose to use our Avent Anti-colic bottle before photoshoots. Want to find out more about Avent? Be sure to follow them on Facebook & Twitter!

2. Dress well - Once everyone has a full belly, it's time to get down to business. Getting dressed can take a while, for myself and my little gal. We both have full closets and tons of cute clothing, but making sure we find the right outfits for photoshoots is complicated! Here's the scoop, too much pattern isn't flattering for any photo. That's why for this shoot we decided to let D steal the show with her colorful, patterned Ric Rac and Ruffles romper and my husband and I went with more neutral looks.

When it comes time to pick out your outfits, go with a less is more approach. Choose to put your husband in a plain, one-tone shirt over stripes, don't wear a paisley print dress, don't put your daughter in stripes, etc. Keep things cute and timeless with more neutral looks and you'll always love your family portrait.

3. Get silly - After you've dealt with your wardrobe, it's time to get a little silly in front of the camera. Talk to each other about your favorite memories, blow raspberries at your kids, chant "A E I O U" until you're giggling in delight. The sillier you feel, the better your photographs will probably turn out.

4. Light it up - Lighting is pretty much what makes a great photograph, other than the subject of course. Make sure you shoot when the light is the best, most of the time that means waking up at the crack of dawn to catch what photographers refer to as "the golden hour". Luckily there's another golden hour at sunset as well. These are the BEST times to shoot if you are using natural light or shooting outdoors. If you are shooting indoors, find the brightest spot with indirect sun in your house - I promise your photos will turn out the BEST there!

5. Go overboard - People think my husband and I are crazy when we take photos, but in reality we're pretty smart. We take at least a handful of photos each time we're asked to take a photo for a stranger and we're shooting ourselves we've been known to take more than enough. Why take so many, you may ask? This tip helps with the family member that blinks too much, it's the way you can ensure you are able to capture that little baby smirk, and it's easy to accomplish. When you're taking photos, take more than you think is enough, and then a few more. You're guaranteed to have a few great photos in the bunch.

That's how we've managed to get such amazing photos lately, so tell me... do you have any tips for taking great family photos? I'd love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Philips Avent via Momtrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Philips Avent or Momtrends.

December 4, 2016

Keeping My Peanut Healthy & Safe with Aralyte

Thanks to Aralyte for sponsoring today's post, regardless all opinions expressed below are my own.

Interesting fact: Food allergies run rampant in my family. My husband has a wheat allergy and others in his family share the same allergy, some of our family are allergic to soy, some to bananas, and my mother-in-law is scary allergic to peanuts. With all of these allergies and the possibility of an allergic reaction, I'm nervous to start giving Delainey real food here in a few months when she starts to signal she's ready. From bananas, to wheat, to peanut butter, we hope she's able to eat it all without a care in the world... one way I've recently discovered to help her at least enjoy one of these foods is Aralyte.

What exactly is Aralyte? Aralyte is a new product, recently developed to help parents tackle the growing peanut allergy problem in the US. Recent research, including the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy trial, has shown that early exposure to peanuts can reduce an infant's risk of peanut allergy development by as much as 98%! Aralyte is a safe, pediatrician recommended way to introduce peanut protein into your baby's diet.

Obviously, I was a little skeptical about using this on my little peanut, but with leading pediatric physicians and allergists from over 200 clinics recommending Aralyte and only all organic ingredients, this seems like a safe way to hopefully help D not develop a peanut allergy. I'm doing everything I can to make sure she is healthy and happy and I think preventing allergies from developing is definitely going to benefit her in the long run!

Are you worried about your baby having a peanut allergy? This convenient and safe way to introduce peanut protein may be the answer for you as well. Click here and start the process today! Plus, you can use the coupon code below and save 15% off the cost of the first 3 months, or two weeks, of the Aralyte regimen. Don't dilly-dally though, the coupon is only good until February 4th!

November 24, 2016

7 Tips to Help You Raise a THANKFUL Child

Raising a thankful child is a complicated task, but with these 7 parenting tips it may be a little easier!

It's interesting how having a child instantly makes holidays feel a little bit more exciting, I knew the moment we found out we were expecting that Christmas would be different this year and now that we're celebrating Thanksgiving with her today, I'll admit Turkey day is a little better and brighter with her in it! Although next year will be even more fun when she can try the food with us... for now I'll snuggle her up while I'm nursing her and whisper how thankful I am that she's my daughter in her tiny little ears.

Raising a thankful child is a complicated task, but with these 7 parenting tips it may be a little easier!

With that said, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how to raise her. Whenever you find out you're pregnant, the duties of parenthood run through your head... that's inevitable. I know I thought about all kinds of situations, some that I put my parents through, some that would only be relevant to her generation, and I'm certain there are some that I haven't even contemplated yet. One thing I do know about parenthood and how I plan on raising her is that I want her to be thankful. I want her to know that while she is loved, she isn't entitled. I want her to thank her elders and smile when asked to extend a helping hand and while I'm no parenting expert, I have been reading up on the matter and today I want to share 7 tips to help you raise a more thankful child.

Raising a thankful child is a complicated task, but with these 7 parenting tips it may be a little easier!

1. Initiate a thankful habit and count your blessings - While D is really little, I help her do this. We look around at all the amazing clothing and toys she has and while these are great, I want to teach her to be thankful for her blessings in life. Ranging from her amazing Nonnie, her loving aunties, her Gigi that considers her a real life princess - these people are truly blessings in her life and I remind her of that daily. When she gets a little older I hope to keep up this practice but have her tell me who or what she considers a blessing in her life, outside of just the materials she's lucky enough to have.

2. Work Hard and Spend Wisely - I want Delainey to know money doesn't grow on trees and that we work for what we want in our house. I don't plan on practicing slave labor, or anything of the sort, but she will start doing chores when she's old enough and desires certain possessions. When she's 5 and wants a new barbie, learning how to do a task around the house will be her way of earning that reward. This lesson won't be one that we learn for a while but it's definitely one I hope she grasps quickly.

3. Please, Excuse Me, and Thank You - Learning her manners is an important part of teaching her to be thankful and polite. When she's super young she may not really understand what these words mean but teaching them to her when her vocabulary first starts growing is one of my main goals. I want her to know that these words mean a lot, in my opinion, and make you seem like a more gracious guest in someone's home, a kind girl in social situations, and ultimately, just a better person in general.

4. Listen Up - Teaching her how to listen is important too. While she's pretty small to teach about eye contact and choosing her tone of voice, this is on our agenda to teach older D. I think the best way to teach her this will be to listen to her when she speaks, teaching her how to properly make eye contact by demonstrating the behavior and listening intently to whatever she's trying to tell me. While this won't always be possible, doing this as much as I can will encourage her to mimic my behavior... or at least that's what the experts say.

5. Show and Tell...the Truth about life - While exposing D to homeless people currently isn't on our agenda this turkey day, we do plan on eventually spending this holiday volunteering at a shelter with her when she grows up. I want to expose her to the less fortunate, preferably around this time of the year to remind her how lucky we have it. It's eye-opening to do things like this and while I don't want to scare her, I want her to know life isn't rainbows and butterflies all the time for everyone and that we need to help others whenever possible, two lessons in one turkey day... I'm looking forward to this.

6. Spring Clean with the Kids - This may sound like an extra chore, along with doing the chores... but it'll be worth it! Have the kids choose clothing and toys they no longer want during the spring months (or any time really) and donate these items to those in need! Teaching your kids to live minimally while also ridding your house of the extra "stuff" will be good for everyone involved. This is something I know Delainey and I will be doing, I have a bad shopping habit and this will be the perfect way to keep that in check and we'll both learn from it.

7. Get the family in on the thankful fun - This one should be easy, all you have to do is get the family on board with the thankful lifestyle. Encourage grandparents to overuse the word thanks when your kiddo is around or tell older cousins to tell babe their definition of being thankful. It's fun to get everyone involved in being thankful and it spreads the goodness all around!

November 21, 2016

It's True, We Co-Sleep (with Dockatot)!

Thanks to Dockatot for sending over this awesome little gadget for us to include in the baby shower gift guide,
regardless all opinions expressed are completely my own.

Parenthood is full of a whole bunch of new experiences. From learning all about our little Delainey and her personality to spending hours trying to figure out what she needs in her life, we've been learning a lot along the way so far... and I have a feeling that won't be changing any time soon. While we've appreciated all of the help we've gotten along the way, we've been given a lot of advice that was unwarranted.

Some people say co-sleeping is the ONLY way to get some rest when you have a baby, while some may say it's a big no-no. I'm honestly kind of on the fence with this discussion and where I stand, especially because Miss Delainey is pro co-sleeping. With that said, there's no reason to panic or worry about her well-being if you don't agree with co-sleeping because we've added a DockaTot to our stash of baby gear and it's definitely going to be put to good use!

Have you heard of DockATot? It's something every parent should have - a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting, and snuggling little dock you can take anywhere! The best part is your little baby will feel snug and secure without being unsafe and you can rest easy knowing your little one is safe & sound in the little pod! They are the closest thing to the womb, other than mama's arms, so any baby tucked into one of these beauties will sleep like a, uh..., baby!

Plus, I love that the DockATot can be moved from room to room easily without having to worry about waking your precious child from their slumber. That means you can always have your eyes on your little darling without having to disturb their sleep, a great little bonus for both mama and baby!

Not only does DockATot provide your little bundle of joy with a cozy place to rest and play, while also offering you portability, this little dock reduces risk of flat-head syndrome. I had no idea this was a thing, but apparently positional plagiocephaly (aka Flathead Syndrome) is a result of a baby lying on one side of the head more than the other. But how does the DockATot help this little issue? The mattress on each DockATot is a soft thermobonded fiber wadding plate with a great bearing capacity to relieve pressure on the head, which is just what your babe needs to avoid a flat head. In addition, the fibers of the surrounding bumpers on each dock offer great support and can function as a positioning prop, enabling you to alternate the baby's resting position, from back to either side without a worry in the world!

Are you interested in trying a DockATot for your tot or maybe you want to grab one to gift to a friend at her upcoming baby shower? Click here to find out more and score a discount on one of my favorite baby gear items on the market!

Interested in finding more awesome items for babies and new mamas?
Click here to check out my Baby Shower Gift Guide!

November 10, 2016

Add Some Sparkle with Just Born!

We're such big fans of Just Born that we're actually brand ambassadors, regardless all opinions expressed below are my own.

Having a little girl means we are blessed with a ton of pink and sparkle in our house, so it comes as no surprise that we are obsessed with the Just Born Sparkle line for our gal. From the clothing to the changing pad covers, the line is absolutely adorable and the perfect girly touch for our little darling and her mermaid room.

I shared how much I was looking forward to sharing Just Born with Delainey recently and now that she's here, we both agree that they only make stuff that makes a girl smile!

Have you seen the latest from Just Born? When we were sent the crib rail guard in pink with a gorgeous pink crib sheet and the pink changing pad cover, both Delainey and I were gaga over the new additions to her room!

The sheets are super soft and she loves just hanging out in her crib watching her mobile and feeling the gentle sheets against her, it's a blessing that she loves to spend so much time just lounging in her room and being curious.

While the sheets are soft and perfect for my gal, the crib rail guard is a great feminine touch to her crib and great while she's little. I love the delicate female tone of pink and the gold embellishments are the perfect compliment to any nursery theme.

Lastly, the changing pad cover is awesome. Why? It's mainly because it's the softest in our collection... but also because it sparkles!

So tell me, are you looking to add some cuteness to your baby's room or wardrobe? Check out the Just Born Sparkle collection and tell me which item you are going to add first!

Interested in finding more awesome items for babies and new mamas?
Click here to check out my Baby Shower Gift Guide!

November 8, 2016

Delainey Kate: 2 Month Update

Oops, I'm a few days late... but Delainey is two months old as of November 2nd.

In some ways it feels like she's always been a part of my life and I'm in shock that it's only been 2 months... and in other ways, I feel like she just arrived and there's no way it's already been 2 months. Maybe this is just what parenthood feels like though?

Anyways, Baby Delainey had a big month:

She made her first craft with me before Halloween. We made little creatures with paint and her cute little footsies! Speaking of Halloween, that reminds me, she also celebrated her first holiday (other than Labor Day, which doesn't really count)!

She visited an amusement park for the first time and took her first nap on the beach. The amusement park was a joy with her, she slept a lot of the time and loved looking around and spending time outdoors... and well, she napped most of her time at the beach so she still has yet to really see it!

She now maintains eye contact, coos and grunts at us, and smiles all the time! She has a range of different cries that we are learning to identify, one that sounds like she's yelling "MAAAA!" and while it's pitiful it makes us laugh a little before we soothe her.

She is starting to gain control of her little head and loves to be sat up so she can look around at the world and take it all in. She has also rolled herself over a few times during tummy time, although we aren't claiming she can officially roll over yet because it's only happened a couple of times.

She loves being held and bounced around, especially by her daddy. He sings her a song with lyrics he made up for her and it may very well be her favorite song and oh-so-sweet.

Speaking of her favorite things, some other things she seems to favor currently include spending time outside, staring at the ceiling fan and the closet light when it's dark (what we use as a night light), and of course, she loves milk.

We think she may be a redhead, although it's hard to tell! Sometimes her hair has strong hints of red and other times we see blonde. She's a mystery... although, one thing that isn't changing much is her beautiful blue eyes! They are lightening some but still are very blue.

She's finally graduated into size 1 diapers and can fit into some of her 0-3 months clothing! Really, all I know is at two months old she's a dainty thing, but perfect in every way!

October 21, 2016

Lactation Cookies for Nursing Mamas: Help Increase Your Milk Supply While Breastfeeding with this COOKIE recipe!

If I'm going to be honest, I never thought I'd be so devoted to something like this... but I'm pretty passionate about nursing Delainey. Don't get me wrong, I'm totally on board with the "fed is best" movement - but for our family I believe breast is best (at least for now)! If you're a nursing mama, you know some days your baby cluster feeds enough that you feel you've run dry... while it's impossible to run out of milk if you're allowing your little one to nurse on demand, it is possible for you to do things to "up" your supply and hopefully help your milk become more established.

You can try all kinds of products, teas, tinctures, old wives tales, and more, but here's a little secret - you can eat cookies to help your supply! I've been experimenting with all kinds of items that are supposed to help and I stand behind this cookie recipe, I've noticed my supply seems to increase when I eat these... especially when I have a few a day!

That's right, I'm giving you a reason to eat a few cookies - every single day. That means you have the right to add cookies to your diet (in the plural form) whenever you want and the best part is that they will help you produce milk for your baby! What more could a new mama ask for? It's a bit like heaven, really - especially once you taste these little bits of gluten-free goodness.

Side Note: You can eat these "lactation" cookies whether you are breastfeeding a child or not, they are full of delicious and healthy ingredients for everyone... but these are especially beneficial if you're trying to up your milk supply!

For this recipe you will need:

1 cup butter (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons flax seed
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups gluten-free flour blend
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons brewer’s yeast (found at the health food store or amazon)
3 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tbsp chopped almonds


Start out by preheating the oven to 375. Now mix the flour, baking soda, brewer’s yeast and oats in a bowl and set aside while you cream together the butter and sugars. 

Now add the eggs, vanilla and flax to the butter and sugar mixture. Combining the ingredients thoroughly.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the chocolate chips and the dried cranberries.   

Now drop cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees F. for 10 minutes.

Let these yummy little pockets of goodness cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then move to a cooling rack. 

Enjoy & Nurse, nurse, nurse!