When you’re the mom of a new baby, you have little time to put effort into your look on a daily basis. But putting on normal clothes goes a long way to helping you feel like an actual human. Plus, real clothes make that “messy bun and no-makeup behind sunglasses” look seem way more put together. Finding outfits that look somewhat chic and stylish, while fitting a postpartum body and accommodating frequent nursing and baby wearing can be a bit of a challenge though. This third time around I feel like I’ve got the wardrobe for this phase down and I’ve got some favorite wardrobe essentials to get you through this season of motherhood, and beyond. Read More
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My friends at Inspired By This are sharing some of Quincy’s newborn photos and our family of five session today. So head over there and check out some highlights and peeks into Quincy’s future nursery once he moves out of our room and see the rest of our family photos, plus his little space in our bedroom below. All of the sources are at the end of the post as well.
As usual, Jennifer Roper captured our family perfectly — our crazy life at home with three boys, one of which won’t be still long enough to get his photo taken. Yet somehow she worked her usual miracles and got a couple of photos with all five of us in one frame. Since this is my last newborn, I’m a little nostalgic and missing this sweet stage already. Read More
If you’re expecting a baby and are going to give birth in a hospital, you’ll need to pack a hospital bag with essentials for mom and baby. At 36 weeks I finally finished packing mine (aside from the few things that I can’t pack until it is time to go). I posted a photo as I started packing on Instagram and many of you requested a full list. So here’s my complete list, linked up to what specifically I’m packing in my hospital bag for me and baby 3:
First, I thought I would share my bag. I use the Weekender from Birdling Bags and it is the perfect size, is compartmentalized into three sections (which is perfect for dividing things up for labor, postpartum for me, and comfort items, snacks, and baby. I love love love this bag. Aside from this bag, I put my nursing pillow and throw blanket inside the case of my bed pillow and that is all I really need for my stay. Now for what’s in the bag:
- ID AND INSURANCE INFO which you’ll need when checking in.
- PHONE AND CHARGER (I’d also recommend buying and bringing an extra long cord because sometimes you can’t reach where you need to charge your phone without one, and you don’t want to have to get up to get your dying phone after you have had a baby)
- CAMERA (if bringing something other than your camera phone)
- DELIVERY GOWN: I’ve brought my own delivery gown to the hospital and worn the same one for both of my other babies, and plan to wear it again the third time around (yes, the exact same gown has survived two births no problem!) While this isn’t essential — the hospital does provide one to you — it does feel nice to have your own that is cute and yours.
- NURSING PAJAMAS, ROBE, NURSING TANKS: Similar to bringing your own delivery gown, bringing some soft and comfy nursing pajamas or a nursing gown and a luxurious robe will make you feel human again after you have a baby. I’ll be packing my James Fox Co Gown (which would make a great delivery gown or is also perfect for after), my Belabumbum nursing pajamas, my Doie Lounge Robe (this robe is so soft and feels so nice you guys!), and some leggings and a nursing tank and cardigan to wear home (remember, you’ll still likely look and feel at least 5 months pregnant — don’t think you’ll be walking out in pre-pregnancy jeans!)
- WARM SOCKS OR SLIPPERS: I tend to get hot so I prefer to have slippers I can slip on to walk around the room and slip off when I get back in bed, but others get super cold in the hospital and love to have warm socks. I pack both, just in case.
- NURSING SUPPLIES: The only thing I’ve ever used or needed in the hospital is my nursing pillow and nipple balm. I also throw in a couple sets of Bamboobies nursing pads (my favorite ones), just in case but my milk doesn’t come in immediately or heavy so I have never needed them at the hospital, and a couple of nursing bras (my favorite is this Cake Lingerie nursing bra). Some women bring their own pump as well, but I’ve never used mine at the hospital (they have some and usually you can borrow one if you need it). But in case you’re wondering, this pump has gotten me through both babies and still has plenty of life left for baby 3.
- HOMECOMING OUTFIT FOR BABY, plus any special blanket or hat you want baby to wear at the hospital or on the way home. I’m hoping to take a personalized hat and swaddle from Boco Baby (like I did with Calvin), and am packing some pants and a side snap tee from June & January, and a blanket and bonnet from Petite Soul (more for taking photos and less out of necessity). Shirts are better than onesies those first few weeks due to the cord stump. But the hospital does provide shirts, blankets, diapers, and even a hat so you don’t need to pack enough to dress him or her for your entire stay.
- SNACKS, CANDY, GUM, SPRITE: I pack some special treats for myself, some snacks, some Oat Mama lactation bars, gum, and a 1 liter of Sprite in case I get nauseous during labor (they won’t give you anything but ice chips before you deliver and I am not recommending you disregard medical advice, but sneaking a couple sips of Sprite saved me during both of my labors, so I pack some.)
- COMFORTS OF HOME: These aren’t necessary but might make you feel more comfortable during your stay (I didn’t pack them with my first and did with my second, and loved having them the second time around): Your own throw blanket (this is my favorite) and bed pillow (make sure your pillow case is distinctive so they don’t take it if they come in to clean your linens), speakers to play music if you like, and anything else that will make you as comfortable as possible.
- EXTRA (EMPTY) BAGS: You leave the hospital with a lot of stuff. Diapers, bulb syringes, thermometers, some side snap shirts, mesh underwear, etc. etc. etc. Extra empty bags come in handy to haul your stuff home.
- CASH AND CHANGE FOR VENDING MACHINES
- FLIP FLOPS (for the shower)
- FACE WIPES: These feel so good to clean up with after labor and to refresh without having to get out of bed, or if you can’t get out of bed.
- CHAPSTICK OR LIP BALM: A must! This one from Zoe Organics is my absolute favorite ever.
- ESSENTIAL OILS: Clary Calm roller, Serenity to diffuse. And I like this diffuser. (this is my first time taking oils to the hospital but I’ve been a convert since Calvin was born and I started using them regularly and I’m excited to incorporate them this time around)
- PHOTOS OF OTHER CHILDREN: If you have other kids, it’s nice to have a photo or two of them with you.
- TOILETRIES: That first shower after you deliver feels like such a treat. Pack travel sizes of your favorite shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. Don’t forget a toothbrush and toothpaste, a hair brush, and deodorant. Also, hand lotion and lip balm are musts for me because I get so dried out after labor (I actually pack The Cream from Zoe Organics because you can use it on your hands, your face, pretty much anywhere you’re really dry). I also packed some tinted moisturizer and mascara so I could throw on a tiny bit of makeup, but I wouldn’t pack your full arsenal of beauty tools — maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t bother with fixing myself up much while in the hospital.
- WHITE NOISE: I would add a white noise app to your phone so you can drown out the hospital noise when you are ready to get some rest. My room was next to the nurses’ station last time and it was constant noise and activity 🙁
- INFANT CAR SEAT: You’ll need one of these properly installed for the hospital to release you (and they do escort you out and check)
- SOLLY BABY WRAP: Because I love it so much, I’m throwing my Solly wrap into my bag. It is nice for a little walk around the halls for bed cuddles when your arms are tired.
Oh, and there is a mini bottle of champagne in there as well, because champagne is always a good idea 🙂 A couple other random thoughts: if you have other children who will be coming to meet the new sibling, bring a small wrapped gift to each one from the new baby. Also, I didn’t include baby or memory book because my hospital does not do footprints or handprints for you, but if yours does you might want to throw one of those in your bag as well.
I mentioned a lot of stuff, so I thought it might be helpful to name a few things you don’t need to pack for the hospital (in my experience and opinion):
- medicine: the hospital will give you whatever you need on a schedule and keep track of any doses
- diapers or wipes, unless you want to use something specific
- baby grooming things (the hospital has and provides you with these)
- underwear or sanitary pads: the hospital gives you mesh underwear (some women don’t like these but I actually love them those first few days, plus you don’t want to ruin your own underwear) and sanitary pads, so save your own for when you’re back home. You might want to pack one pair of your own underwear but I wear the mesh ones for days (they’ll even send you home with some!)
- entertainment items: I took an iPad and a book last time and didn’t touch either one. If you do have time and feel like doing more than zoning out to your hospital television while cuddling your newborn, you can always just use your smart phone.
- you don’t need a ton of clothes for yourself. Your gown, a set of pjs, and something to wear home is plenty.
- I don’t pack a bag for my husband. He’s on his own to pack for himself, and now that we have kids he is only there for labor/delivery anyways. After that he stays at home with our other children and visits when he can.
- pain relieving spray or ice packs are also provided by the hospital
I hope some of you find this helpful. Is there anything you pack for the hospital that I left off my list or anything I listed as unnecessary that you’ve found you needed? What is your number one essential for the hospital?
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Our family recently took our first road trip together since becoming a family of 4 — just in time before we add yet another baby to the mix. We chose Laguna Beach because of its proximity to Los Angeles and because it is so family-friendly and has lots of things we wanted to do. It turned out to be the perfect choice and we had the most amazing time. Charlie even decided he wanted to stay an extra day instead of going to Disneyland — changing his favorite place on earth from Disneyland to Laguna Beach. That’s high praise from a 5 year old!
We stayed at The Ranch at Laguna Beach and from the moment we checked in, I knew it was going to be a good trip. Charlie couldn’t wait to jump in the pool, The Ranch was super accommodating of our having a baby — making sure we had a travel crib, high chair, and baby gate in our cottage. It was the first place I have been since having kids where it felt like it was going to be easy to be on vacation. They even made sure I had whole milk for Calvin’s bottles in our mini-fridge in the kitchen.
One of my favorite things that we did was spend an afternoon and evening at Aliso Creek Beach. I’ve always wanted to have a camp fire at the beach and hadn’t done it in the 11 years I’ve lived in Los Angeles. The Ranch helped us out tremendously by reserving a fire pit for us, and they even set up a tent, towels, and other beach essentials plus packed us a picnic of their delicious sandwiches and salads for dinner along with all the ingredients for s’mores for dessert. We made memories and had an experience I don’t think any of us will ever forget — except for maybe Calvin since he’s only 1…
Aside from going to the beach a couple of times, we mostly stayed on property at The Ranch and ate almost all of our meals there. Between the pool, our very comfortable cottage, and the dining there wasn’t much need to leave unless we wanted to, which made everything much more relaxed.
The view from The Harvest Patio where we had breakfast each day was unbeatable. The boys loved watching the golfers tee off and the hummingbirds fly by. The food was amazing and I’m still dreaming of their sour cream pancakes…
We wanted to take Charlie to see some of Laguna’s tide pools, but El Nino made the tide uncooperative and much higher than normal. So while I took Calvin for a walk in the stroller in Heisler Park so he could sneak in a nap, my husband and Charlie explored the beach and jumped the waves below while I watched from above.
One of the things about Laguna that we were so impressed with is how clean it is. The experience of going to the beach there is so much different than going to the beach anywhere in Los Angeles, where we once had to rush Charlie out of the ocean because there was a “jellyfish” way too close to him, and it wasn’t really a jellyfish but something much more disgusting (I’ll let you figure it out…) Laguna was literally a breath of fresh air.
We were able to meet up with family who were also in town on our second night. Rather than going out to dinner, we ordered pizza in and The Ranch set up a “movie night” for the kids — they provided a selection of movies, sleeping bags, and popcorn. The kids had a blast watching ‘Home’ while the grown-ups caught up and ate pizza. It was so much better than going out for dinner with kids!
Three days at the beach, three days in an air conditioned cottage, three days of sour cream pancakes… Our road trip to Laguna Beach was just what we all needed. I can’t recommend restaurants in Laguna or activities other than the beach, but I can tell you that our stay at The Ranch and our time at the beach was one for the record books. I can’t recommend either of those highly enough.
Do you have a favorite road trip memory with your family or a favorite place to visit as a family?
Compensation for this post was provided by The Ranch at Laguna Beach, but all the opinions are my own. The Ranch at Laguna Beach is currently in a preview phase while they complete renovations. Preview rooms and rates are available now through their final opening in early 2016.
If you follow me on instagram you saw I was busy making some fun fall goodies over the weekend. These DIY succulent pumpkins combine two of my favorite things: succulents and cute mini pumpkins. They are so easy to make, look fancier than just displaying mini pumpkins, make for great fall decor, and are also great for gifting! I made all of these while my older son and my husband carved a jack-o-lantern.
What You’ll Need:
- a variety of small succulents
- a variety of mini pumpkins and gourds (the smallest ones and the knobby gourds are harder to work with)
- a sharp paring knife
- a spoon for scooping
(If you have little kids like me and have a hard time gathering supplies, you can find most of this on Amazon, believe it or not!)
How To Make Them:
- As with carving a regular size pumpkin, cut the top off of the mini pumpkin or gourd with a paring knife. I tried a variety of sizes and found a small but sharp paring knife to work best, and feel the safest.
- Once you’ve cut the top off, scoop out most of the guts of the pumpkin.
- Choose one of your succulents and plant it inside the empty pumpkin. I found that the dirt that came with the plant was enough to fill the pumpkins, but if you choose a larger one you may need more.
- Display, gift, and enjoy! They are seriously that simple.
Don’t you love!? These are my new go-to decor for fall. I think I love them as much, or maybe more, than my bottle brush tree snow globes that are my Christmas DIY go-to! I’d love to see these if you make them, so be sure to post on instagram and tag them with #ohlovelyDIY so I can see!