Parenting Tips For New Moms

SImple parenting tips for new moms.

I am in the thick of it over here with my 8 week old, Tucker. He is my second baby so I am getting to repeat some of the things that worked with Lucy and do differntly the things that didn’t. I feel like I have a few go-to tips that I would share with any mom and want to document those before I forget and am on to new challenges. So if you were my pregnant best friend here is what I would tell you:

ONE | Get the Moms On Call book for newborns. I didn’t follow any schedule or regimen with Lucy, but decided to try it this time with Tucker. Mainly because with a 2 year old, I couldn’t afford to be utterly exhausted like I was the first time around. Sleeping is like currency around here right now! The most useful parts of the Moms On Call book to me are the feeding tips, sleeping tips, and “typical day” routines. I started following that typical day routine with Tucker and we saw a major improvement immediatly. I am leniant on the timing and definitley don’t give him a bath everynight, but it so helpful to know the order of things. Like east, play, sleep. And, to have something to turn to for help. When he is freaking at 2:00, I can check the schedule and see what he is suposed to be doing at that time (like sleeping) and know that I need to work on getting him to sleep.

Parenting Tips for New Moms
TWO | Swaddle with a Woombie! This thing has been a lifesaver both times. You might think your baby doesn’t want to be swaddeled but they really do. Once they get to sleep it keeps them from getting startled and waking themselves up. It ensures longer sleeping sessions for sure! I swaddle for naps and for night time. I swear by the Woombie specifically. It’s a no brainer in my eyes.

Parenting Tips for New Moms
THREE | Use a baby carrier while grocery shopping. I use the K’Tan and the Ergobaby. This is the safest and easiest way to shop with your baby. You have to push a cart so you can’t bring the stroller and if you put the carseat in the cart, that isn’t safe (trust me). Plus, the carrier keeps them asleep longer so they don’t wake up and freak out on you.

Parenting Tips for New Moms
FOUR | Lay the baby down on a flat surface often. Both of my babies loved to just lay down and play on their own. By “play” I mean kick around, move their arms, look around, and make noises. I didn’t realize this at first. I thought I always had to hold them or put them in a bouncer or swing, but my babies are happier just laying on the bed or floor.

FIVE | Put the baby in the crib as soon as possible. We waited to put Lucy in her crib until 10 weeks and she started sleeping through the night as soon as we did. With Tucker, we moved him at about 6 weeks. Again, as soon as we did his sleep improved tremendously and so did ours! I think between the three of us moving around and making noises all night, noone was sleeping good. Also, it helps you not jump up as soon as the baby whimpers, which helps extend time inbetween feedings. I put him in the crib for nap time just like night time. This was probably our best decision so far this time around!

SIX | If you can’t get them to stop crying, take them outside. That has worked with both of my babies. I’ll go on a walk, or just put his bouncer on the porch. I don’t know why, but it works.

SEVEN | Keep some liquid formula, a bottle, and a diaper in your car. I don’t know how many times I’ve left his diaper bag at home. I had to run into Target and buy formula, a bottle and a pack of diapers one afternoon, so now I just keep this stuff in my car at all times.

EIGHT | Split your day up into 3 parts. The first part from 6am(ish) to Noon is catchup time. During this time I sleep when he sleeps to catch up on missed sleep during the night. It’s important to designate this time so you don’t feel guilty for not doing much. The second part is Noon to 5pm and this is my productive time. Get dressed, clean the house, run errands, whatever. The third part is fun time. For me, this is when Matt and Lucy get home and I want us to have fun as family. We go on walks, make dinner together, play etc. This new method has helped me enjoy maternity leave 100% more than I did last time.

Maggie

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Fall finds!

Hi everyone!  Happy Monday!  It’s officially fall (as of last Thursday) so today I’m coming to you with some of my favorite fall things.

Loft is having 40% off everything so it’s a great time to stock up on some transition pieces like this dress.  Also the orange is perfect for a Clemson game!

Primary Image of Floral Flounce Dress

Love plaid for fall.  This top is a little different from your typical plaid top and would be cute with jeans and booties.

Primary Image of Plaid Peasant Blouse

Atlanta recently opened a Top Shop store in Lenox mall and I checked it out for the first time a couple of weeks ago.  They have some really cute stuff at a very affordable price point.  I purchased this top in Purple but it also comes in black and a deep wine color.

Target is having 10-25% off Home Decor online including all their cute fall things.  Of course I picked up this Pumpkin Candle.  Can’t get enough of pumpkin smell although surprisingly I don’t love Pumpkin Spice flavored stuff.

 

 

My mom got this “Juicy Shaker” lip color for herself but didn’t love the color so it got passed along to me.  I’m a little obsessed with it.  The color is subtle but very pretty and it goes on so smoothly.  Its a pigmented oil so its hydrating and also leaves a stain behind which I love.  I have the Watermelon Color and it kind of smells like watermelon.  Love!

Juicy Shaker

 

Hope everyone has a great start to their week!

xoxo,

Annie

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Friday Five

Happy Friday everyone! I really needed Friday to come quickly this week. I was having mini- heart racing moments all week. I think it’s because I work in sales and the month is close to the end and I got nothing to show for it. Ugh. But, the weekend is here now and I am ready for some R&R. Today I come to you with my top five things that I am loving right now.

1| Blacklist – This show is sooooo good. Donald and I just finished up watching season 3 on Netflix and the first episode of season 4 was last night on NBC. James Spader is amazing in this show. His character is so on point and fun to watch. If you haven’t seen it and want a new show to binge watch, seasons 1-3 are available on Netflix and season 4 just started so you can DVR!

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2| Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen – This book was gifted to Charlie on her 2nd Birthday. It is such a cute book and is both fun for Charlie and me to read. The illustrations are adorable and the witty writing is just as cute. It should be a definite addition to your child’s bookcase if they don’t already have it. pout pout fish

3| H&M Home – Is it weird that I just recently discovered H&M has a home department? They have some really cute stuff right now that is perfect for Fall – darker colors, fun prints, soft fabrics. I would love to add a couple of these pieces to our home. Plus they are funky and different and inexpensive. Can’t go wrong!

4| Grey Jeans – I know this is so random; but, I am kinda obsessed with grey colored denim right now. I have been on the hunt to find the perfect pair. I want a lighter wash that is mid to high rise and skinny.  After a ton of scouring, here are the pairs I thought were really cute.

5| Trunk Club – I recently learned about this online clothing service for men and women. In short, you get hooked up with a personal stylist who gets to know you and your style. That stylist then puts together a trunk of clothes specifically for you and ships it off to your home for you to try on. Here’s the cool thing about Trunk Club, they have this online app that allows you to see the items that your stylist chose for you before they ship the trunk. At this point you can approve/decline what you want to be included in your trunk before it’s even sent. They put together outfit ideas to help show you how to wear the items. Once you receive your trunk you have 5 days to decide what you want to keep and then use the prepaid return label to send back the rest. Here’s the best part of it all….Trunk Club is owned by Nordstrom! And hello! Nordstrom has the absolute best customer service ever. So, you know you are going to get top notch service and well-made clothes. I am getting my first trunk next week; so, be sure to check back for more detail and reviews of the items I received.

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Photo courtesy of Trunk Club                            

 

That’s all I have for you today folks! I hope you all have a great weekend!

victoria

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Sunglasses I’m Loving All Under $12

While out of town recently , I went into Nordstroms for the first time. We don’t have one anywhere around, so I always just shop online. Well, I absolutely loved it (no surprise there), but I also discovered these amazing sunglasses for $12 and under. I hate spending a ton of money on sunglasses because I lose them constantly, and I love getting really fun shapes and colors that I might only be into for a few months at a time. I picked myself up some of these, but wanted to share some of faves with you guys. Check them out!

 Maggie

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Wedding Wednesday!

6 Reasons to take a Mini moon and delay your Honeymoon!

Today on Wedding Wednesday I want to talk about the benefits of a “mini-moon” or a delayed Honeymoon.  When Steve and I were talking about where to go on our Honeymoon we were a little all over the place.  One weekend we thought Bermuda would be perfect because neither of us had been there and that’s where Steve’s parents went on there honeymoon.  Other weeks we were all about taking 2 weeks off and traveling around Italy then it was Greece, BVIs, Pueto Rico etc etc.  The list went on and I’m pretty sure our Travel Agent (my godmother) must have had the patience of a nun as we went back and fourth.

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I was torn because knowing my slightly introverted tendencies, I figured I would be super tired from all the activities of the previous week/weekend and would want to relax but at the same time neither Steve nor I are “sitting” type people.  We like to get out and explore when we travel.  So we thought it would be fun to go somewhere in Europe where we could explore and try new foods and so on.  In the end we decided to take a mini-moon down to south Florida for a couple days and I am SO glad we did.  Below are my reasons why I think a mini-moon is the way to go.

  1. Take some pressure off yourself!  There are always about 10 million things you’re trying to keep up with leading up to your wedding.  Trying to pack and plan for a huge trip is just another thing to add to your list.   I also think that part of the fun of a big trip is doing research and taking time to figure out what you want to do, where you want to go etc.  which I definitely didn’t have time for leading up to our wedding.
  2. Weddings are super expensive.  I know this shocks no one but the last couple of weeks get to be insane!  Just a casual extra $300 to the church we didn’t know about.  Another $1,000 for hostess gifts, bridesmaids gifts, hair/makeup, rehearsal dinner dress.  The list goes on and by the last couple of weeks you are so far into it that you don’t even scoff at these little extra expenses that you just throw a check at it.  For this reason, I was so glad we decide to go for a much less expensive option.  Had we gone to Italy for 2 weeks I would have been stressed about the money and probably not enjoyed it as much.  By only going for a couple of days and going somewhere that we could get to via flying into Miami (super cheap flights from Atlanta) we saved so much while still staying at a fancy hotel, enjoying spa treatments and eating out most meals.
  3. If you decide to take a honeymoon later, you’ll also have more time to save up for another trip!
  4. You are SO tired after your weekend weekend.  After a solid week of social engagements, champagne drinking, parties and staying up late you are SO ready to just relax.  We napped the first day we got there and even after that we went to an early dinner and to bed by 9.  We were exhausted and I was so glad to be in a place that was all about just relaxing so we didn’t feel guilty like we needed to be going to xyz attraction.  Steve and I never ever nap so it was a fun treat that we took advantage of.  Also the flight from Atlanta to Miami is about 2 hours so no grueling travel was a nice perk.
  5. You have something to look forward to!  We are planning our “real” honeymoon for sometime next year so now we have a bigger trip to look forward to.
  6. You can (potentially) take more time off!  Because I took a few days off before my wedding I didn’t feel great about taking 2 more weeks after it.  This way we can plan our vacation time from work to accommodate a longer trip.

This was just my experience of course but I hope its helpful for anyone planning their wedding!  And in case you’re interested below are the details about where we stayed and our favorite restaurant we went to.

6 Reasons to take a Mini moon and delay your Honeymoon!
View from our Balcony!

Stayed: Ritz Carlton- Key Biscayne. Sunday-Thursday. The Hotel was beautiful and the service was impeccable.  We had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries when we arrived and they upgraded us to a beautiful room that included the breakfast + unlimited mimosas every morning. #champsfordays .  I literally ate this bfast x2 every morning and it was glorious after my pre-wedding dieting.  Yes that is an omelette, pancake, muffin, hash browns, bacon, brie and english muffin.  #allthecarbs

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Activities: They had bikes to rent and we played tennis one day.  There was also some beach pool sitting with some amazing blueberry mojitos!  Hurricane Hermine was a thing on the trip but only really affected us one day so we went to see a movie that day which is one of my favorite activities.

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Ate: We went to this Thai Tapas place that was our absolute favorite meal of the trip.  Its small plates but all the traditional Thai food you know and love.  Its great because it solves my Thai food crisis of Pad Thai, Pad se ew or Panang Curry.  We got all of those plus a few new dishes!  It’s also very small and intimate, you actually sit at the bar and watch them prepare your food.  The place is called Lung Yai Thai Tapas and I’ve been dreaming of it ever since!  We also loved Tutta Pizza and Pasta which was in walking distance of our hotel and fantastic.  Very fresh and modern Italian in a quaint little space.

xoxo,

Annie

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Quick and Easy Lunch Idea – Healthy Pizza

Thanks to my mom, I have been eating the most delicious, quick, easy, and healthy lunch for the past couple of weeks. I am so obsessed I wanted to share. It’s not a recipe, but more of an idea. Check it out…

First off, I take low carb tortillas, put them on a baking sheet, and spread my favorite BBQ sauce all over it.

Easy and healthy lunch idea - low carb pizza

Then, I add my toppings. I typically use rotisserie chicken, black beans and black olives.

Easy and healthy lunch idea - low carb pizza

Lastly, I top with mozzarella cheese and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Easy and healthy lunch idea - low carb pizza

The crust gets really crispy, which I didn’t believe at first, but it does! So it’s really like a thin crust pizza. This is the perfect lunch or even dinner. You can make any kind of pizza you want – for Matt I make a more traditional red sauce and pepperoni pizza. Yummm!!

Maggie

 

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Fall Style – featuring Abercrombie

Y’all. Abercrombie is killing it this Fall. The last time I shopped at Abercrombie I was 14 and wishing I had $60 to spend on a zip up, hooded sweatshirt with the huge “ABERCROMBIE” logo all over the front of it. I digress. Abercrombie has gone through a huge revamp over the last year and has spit out a slew of trendy and super stylish items that are perfect for even us 30 year olds. Below are a few items I am lusting after.

Abercrombie

 


I already purchased a couple of these items like the lace-up sweater and the camo jacket. Both are on point. I have my eye on the high shine anorak and the pleated leather dress for my next purchase.
Keep it lush y’all!
victoria
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My Experience with Postpartum Preeclampsia


My experience with postpartum Preeclampsia - Personal story.

First off, for all you mothers that are (like I was) laying in a hospital bed hooked up to Magnesium Sulfate, missing your baby, and terrified of what is going to happen next, googling this illness you know nothing about, I want you to know that you WILL be ok. This will pass and life will be normal again.

As I mentioned in Tucker’s Birth Story, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Preeclampsia 4 days after giving birth. I wanted to write about this for two reasons. First, there is not enough awareness about what this is and what the symptoms/signs are. If it’s not treated the outcomes could be very grim so it is important that women know what to look for. Second, when I needed to know that what I was going through was only temporary, I couldn’t find the reassurance I needed out there. Having Preeclampsia postpartum is very rare, so personal stories are hard to find. Here is mine…

I came home from the hospital with Tucker on Friday feeling really great. With my first pregnancy I had Preeclampsia and we discovered it at about 37 weeks. This time I went through my pregnancy with no signs and I was so relieved. My healing process was going great so far. On the following Sunday I was particularly active. I took Tucker and Lucy on a long walk, where I ended up carrying her on my hip most of the time – you guys know how that is. Then, I took Lucy to the playground where we played on the slides and merry-go-round. My mom arrived that afternoon at about 2:00. I had been having a pretty bad headache all day and felt pretty foggy, but just chalked it up to lack of sleep and the heat outside. I kept taking my 800mg Ibuprofen that was prescribed through out the day. I guess I kept mentioning my headache enough that eventually at around 11:00pm my mom said “you’ve been taking ibuprofen all day and if that is not helping with your headache, there might be more going on.” So per her suggestion, I took my blood pressure with a cuff we have at home and it read something like 160/100. I called the OBGYN on-call and she directed me to come into the hospital. I was not worried yet. I assumed they were just going to give me a blood pressure pill and send me home.

Matt stayed home with the kids and Mom drove me to the emergency room. They were expecting us and immediately checked me in. At this point I believe my blood pressure was around 180/110. A nurse came in and was very tight lipped. She turned off all the lights in the room, inserted and IV, and started taking some blood for analysis. At this point the staff knew what was going on,  but I had no idea. I assume they weren’t telling me too much so that I wouldn’t get nervous and increase my blood pressure even more. The doctor finally came in and informed me that they were treating me for postpartum Preeclampsia, which I didn’t even know existed. They had checked my reflexes earlier, which were REALLY responsive. I thought that was a good thing, but apparently that meant I was in danger of seizing. The high blood pressure was really a symptom of the Eclampsia, which is seizing. I was in total shock.

The doctor also told me they had to hook me up to Magnesium Sulfate through my IV for at least 24 hours and that I would “not feel great” while on it, so they would need to put in a catheter. I didn’t understand. How bad was I going to feel if I can’t even walk to the bathroom. Well, I soon found out that you don’t just “not feel great” on Magnesium Sulfate, you feel absolutely terrible in pretty much every way imaginable. It is supposed to numb your neurological system so that you can’t seize. I think if I would have known how bad it was going to feel and that it was 100% normal ahead of time, I would have handled it better. For anyone that is going through it, just know you will feel terrible. It will be impossible to move very much at all and your vision is going to get really blurry. This is all totally normal and is a sign that the medicine is working. It will be terrible, but it will literally save your life.

I stayed on the medication for the 24 hours and by the end was begging them take me off of it. It’s so strange to think that this medicine is helping you when it makes you feel so terrible. Your mind goes to the absolute worst. I was terrified about not ever being able to come home and be with Tuck and Lucy and leaving Matt to take care of them on his own. With a lot of help from my sweet husband, I continued to use my breast pump while in the hospital. Every time I pumped, I thought how sad it would be if I didn’t make it out of this and my family still had to give this milk to Tucker after I was gone. I know that probably sounds so crazy (it does to me now). There are just so many emotions running through you because you are not only scared and exhausted, but you are also full of postpartum hormones. Just know that this is OK, you will go home, and things will be normal again.

So that is how they treat postpartum Preeclampsia, It’s a total mind freak because what is helping you makes you feel like things are getting worse.  I also think it’s important to talk about life after you get home. I really struggled with this. I constantly had thoughts of…is this going to come back, will I have a seizure, will I have a stroke. It was terrifying. I was nervous to even hold Tucker in case I had a seizure and dropped him. I was terrified to go to sleep in case I had a stroke in the night and just never woke up. If I felt a slight headache or saw any swelling in my hands or feet, I would melt down. It was just an awful time and honestly the only thing that helped was time. Every night I would go to sleep and wake up the next morning feeling a little less scared. My blood pressure remained high until this week actually (6 weeks postpartum).

If you have feelings like I did it’s really tough and no one around you totally gets it. I think everyone that loves you just wants to think “you were treated, you are all better, and everything will be fine” because they don’t want to imagine the worst. And honestly, they are probably 100% correct, but it’s natural to have some lingering fears. Again, just know they will go away and it will be a faint memory soon enough.

If I could take away one positive from this situation it is that it made me more appreciative of everything. I was so thankful to be home with Lucy, Tucker, and Matt that nothing phased me. I didn’t mind being up at all hours of the night, Lucy throwing a temper tantrum over something silly, Tucker wanting to be held all the time…it all was now put into perspective. I think I have been a better mom since going through this and that is a huge blessing.

I hope this is helpful for someone. I actually go in for my 6 week check up today. I feel confident and like my old self again. If anyone has any questions or just needs someone to share with, please write in the comments. Also, I am no expert on this, so check out the Preeclampsia Foundation’s website for more information.

Maggie

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Friday Five!

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has had a great week and has some fun and relaxing plans for the weekend.  I’m heading off to Asheville for one of my best friend’s Bachelorette parties.  I’m looking forward to some hopefully fall-ish weather, a wine tour in the mountains and lots of quality girl time!   Now lets dive into my Friday Five!

One || SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque.  I had a facial about 2 weeks before my wedding and the technician recommended this masque to use leading up to my wedding.  It’s become part of my weekly skincare routine and I loveeee it.  It is a super cooling masque that fights puffiness, smoothes and hydrates your skin.  I feel like my skin looks so glow-y after using this stuff.

facemasque

Two || Book Marks.  I’m an avid reader and am always looking for my next favorite book.  That said, I’m always cautious of the recommendations I take because once I start a book I (irrationally) must finish it.  Book Marks is a site that take ratings from over 70 sources and gives books a grade like A, A-, B etc.  Thinking about reading The Woman in Cabin 10 next… it’s got an A- and seems similar to Gone Girl/Girl on the Train type books.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Three || NYFW.  Has anyone else been loving the NYFW coverage the past two weeks?? I follow a lot of fashion bloggers and influencers on Snapchat and Instgram and I’ve loved keeping up with all the happenings of NYFW.  I think my biggest takeaway is that statement earrings are hot hot hot.  If you don’t already follow her, I would recommend following Eva Chen on instagram.  She is the companies Fashion Executive and she’s always got a good InstaStory.

Can someone get me this Tory Burch dress please?

tory

Four || Three Designing Women Stamp.  I’m in full on Thank you note writing mode and I am loving this stamp with my new name and our new address on it.  These make great gifts for newly weds!

Web stamp

Five || The most randomly scented candle ever.  My mom turned me on to these candled and we’ve been loving the arugula scent.  It is a really clean and fresh smelling candle and you can really smell it even when its not lit.  Big plus in my book!

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That’s all I’ve got for today!  Have a great weekend!  Xoxo,

Annie

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Our Fifth Wedding Anniversary Trip

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What’s up friends? Happy Thursday! Almost the weekend. Donald’s and my fifth anniversary is coming up at the beginning of October. I swear it feels like we got married yesterday. Time flies. We are headed to the mountains for a long weekend and I am so excited for some cooler weather, apple picking and hiking. We don’t get to the mountains too often; but, when we do go we usually stay in Saluda, NC. This is about 3 hours from Charleston and is a really cute, little mountain town with a couple wonderful restaurants and some mountainy, artsy shops. We stay at this great bed & breakfast called The Orchard Inn. They have rooms in the inn and they also have little cabins. We usually get a cabin and enjoy their scrumptious breakfast every morning. We also make sure to hit up The Purple Onion for dinner one night. The other night, we usually make the trek to Asheville and enjoy some of the breweries and good eats up that way. Some of our good friends that used to live there raved about the Mexican fare at Limones; so, I think our plan is to give that a whirl. And as far as apple picking goes one of my other buddies mentioned that Skytop Apple Orchard was loads of fun and has lots of goodies on top of the delicious apples.

In regards to gifts, I think wood is the traditional gift at the 5 year anniversary mark. Donald and I pretty much decided to not exchange gifts this year since we are going on our little weekend trip; but, I may still get him a little something and I have a few things in mind. But, if anyone has ideas on this I would really love them! I always struggle with anniversary gifts.

Also, if you have been to Asheville or Saluda recently please share any must have stops or things to do. I would love to know!

Keep it lush y’all!

victoria

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