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Last Week's Update {25 Weeks}

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

last week's update*

How far along? 25 weeks,  5 days
Baby Size: A rutabaga...what the heck is that? 
Okay so I just Googled it and I still don't recall seeing one before.
Total weight gain: HA! Well, at my 24 week checkup it was 19lbs...so why don't we just say 20. 
Movement: Tons and tons! Some movements seem so different than the first pregnancy. 
Like there's a giant alien rolling around in there :)
Food cravings: Typically the same but I really want some boiled crawfish SO bad. 
I also tend to crave buffalo wings, Chili's salsa, fried food and cupcakes. Totally healthy, I know. 
Looking forward to: Getting mail items in that I've been slowly ordering for this sweet baby. 
We really don't need much, but there's some things I've wanted and needed to replace anyway. 

It's definitely getting closer and closer, yet sometimes it still seems so far away. I find it interesting how a second pregnancy can be so different, yet so similar to the first one. It's different in many ways because your attention is still settled on your first child as you chase them, feed them, care for them and nurture them. Your attention isn't always on the growing bundle inside of you, unlike your first pregnancy. It's actually quite nice to lay in bed at night and really appreciate and enjoy the new life growing inside of you. When everyone else is asleep (well the little one anyway) and you're all relaxed in your jammies and just finally relaxing after a long day...that's when it's the best. That's when you really remember that there is a new little person coming out to meet you soon. And then you drift off to sleep with sweet dreams.

Yet things are so similar in terms of fears, worries and the anticipation to deliver for the sole purpose of knowing that everything is okay. You read and see stories that scare you (not cool to read during your pregnancy) and you wonder "what if." You wonder how the birth will go and as someone who once before had an amazing, beautiful birth, you long to know that it will be the same. I see the pain countless times in the mothers I interact with frequently whose birth plan didn't go at all as planned and I long to know that my body and baby will allow us to do that. Yet I also know that at the end of the day, it's just about delivering my baby safely no matter how she comes out. There's even the same fears of passing the gluclose test and worrying that your bun will stay safely in there until their birthday. It's all the same no matter how many times you've done it (or so I assume). 

I long to know that we'll be blessed with another wonderful breastfeeding journey that we can determine the length of and no one else or no health reasons will determine. I long to know that the minute my baby comes out earth side, that she'll be placed on top of my chest for skin to skin so I can relish in that very moment. I absolutely can't wait for that very moment. 

Having experienced birth before, you definitely know what you loved, what you can do without and what you're absolutely longing for. You know what moments are priceless and what moments to anticipate. And you know exactly what you want...a healthy baby. 

So let's get there already, because this mama is surely ready to experience this again. I've been asked a few times already if I plan to birth this baby the same way as my first (unmedicated) and YES. I long to experience that again and to feel that power and wonder of what I can do.

 I  can't wait. But most of all, I simply can't wait to meet this little girl. 

ECO SWIM by Aqua Green Giveaway

Monday, March 2, 2015

Summer is just around the corner (yes hard to believe when some of you are covered in snow), and it's time to start shopping for that perfect bathing suit. I'm not sure about many of you, but I do find that as I get older and now that I'm a mom my preferences for swim suits have changed. I rocked bikinis last year despite having no form of ab muscle what so ever (thanks, kid) but truthfully, running around after a toddler in a bikini isn't always ideal. You want to make sure nothing pops out up top and that nothing gets stuck up any cracks down below. You feel me mamas?

Today I'm going to share some amazing swim suits that are just freaking MOM PERFECT. They are trendy, cute, stylish and still sexy without worrying about any wardrobe malfunctions. And even better, they are ECO FRIENDLY, American made and from an eco-conscious company. Woot Woot. 

Aqua Green is a 4th generation family owned business that has been leading the way in swim wear fit, design and sustainability for the last 75 years. Their ECO SWIM line brings about brand new sustainable technologies to the swimwear market and their company is amazing at helping out our environment.

Just a few awesome things about Aqua Green and ECO SWIM:

  • They have removed over 5 tons of trash with beach cleanups 
  • They promote eco friendly fashion, volunteerism, and environmentalism 
  • The ECO SWIM line uses recycled nylon lining and recycled polyester shell fabrics
  • ECO SWIM uses eco cell foam bra cups and dry natural rubber elastics 
  • FSC Certified Tags made of recycled material
  • They basically turn your recycled water bottles into fabric for their suits! 
Aqua Green is MADE IN THE USA. Yes, it is actually manufactured here...holla. By simply manufacturing here, they have reduced their fossil fuel by 96.9%.

Along with green company initiatives and making every effort to use eco-conscious materials, which reduce ocean pollution and keep plastic out of our landfills, Aqua Green® is committed to several beach and river cleanups each year. Aqua Green® values volunteerism and activism, co-hosting beach cleanups with their retail partners, spreading their environmental message, promoting eco-fashion and creating community while helping to restore our oceans and waterways to health. Aqua Green and their partners have removed over 5 tons of trash.

Okay, so let's take a look at just a few of the super cute swim suits that I want one in each of! If you want to check out more from ECO SWIM and Aqua Green, then make sure to visit their website

Enter below to win your own swim suit from ECO SWIM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Aqua Green is a way of life. It’s the journey of learning to love, respect, and have a sense of responsibility for our planet. It’s about appreciating the past, enjoying the present, and anticipating the future. It’s protecting what is important to you while creating a better world for tomorrow.

Aqua Green’s mission is to demonstrate leadership in style while providing fashionable, excellent quality, and planet friendly products for the conscious consumer.

Thanks for being so awesome Aqua Green. 
We truly need more companies like you. 

Good luck and hope you win the swim suit of your dreams!

Life This Winter

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I have slacked terribly lately at sharing any recent photos from the holidays, so today I have put together a quick recap from the many, many photos that I do have.

Time sure does fly by quickly and seeing this little girl grow up and become even cuter, spunkier, sassier and smarter does my heart good. Boy I can't wait to add her little sister into the mix.

In the age of the iphone it's way too common to use our phones for most of our photos without ever really using and developing beautiful shots from real cameras. I hate that my camera cards are piling up with no photo books or photo albums to go along with that. Looks like I have some work to do and some money to spend to start developing this little girl's life so far.

It's so worth sharing and looking at for year's to come.

The days are just too short and I don't ever want to forget them.

Do the Terms Organic and Natural Really Mean Anything?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The terms natural and organic are two terms that are floating around all over your grocery stores, baby blogs, baby stores, skin care products and even Instagram. They are two terms that are quickly paving their way in our busy and often times unhealthy society.

But just how important are those two words and just what do they mean?

You're standing in the cheese aisle searching for some cheese and you notice brands that say natural and then you notice just regular ole' brands. So without a thought you just pick up the natural one because you assume it is just better for you...FREEZE... and put that cheese back please and let's have a talk first.

The term natural is one of those widely used terms that can mean great things and can also mean jack squat. Companies can say anything is natural and can sell that to you as if it's a better option than the other competitors out there because the term isn't regulated. So is "natural" a better option? As it turns out, the only way to know whether or not it really is the more "natural" option when comparing food items, skin care items and so forth, is to do your own bit of research. Whoa...no one said you had to take out a magnifying glass and start googling every ingredient you see listed, BUT you can tell just how natural something is in comparison to competitors by simply reading the label.

Often times, the fewer ingredients an item has (particularly in food) the better. The easier the words are to pronounce and understand, then the better. However with natural skin care products you'll see long scientific words followed by the short term in parenthesis, so just note this for future reference. For example, coco nucifera is simply coconut oil. True natural products will likely tell you exactly where the funny looking, hard to pronounce ingredient came from and will often also include whether or not the product is free of popular, unhealthy additives (such as GMO free, Paraben free, sulfate free, etc...). It's pretty easy to compare labels of products and to use judgment when deciding if something natural is indeed a bit healthier. It's even better when you search out ingredients and brands, but truthfully that extra work isn't really always needed. I mean hello, you have a screaming toddler at the grocery store and she isn't all about mama play detective on her phone when she's ready to get the heck out.

As a "natural" baby boutique owner, the term plays a big part in my life. I believe in the term when I know about the product but I also know that the term can be overly used and used incorrectly. Sometimes as the consumer we have to do a little bit of research or at least just a little bit of label reading and comparing to know if we really are getting a much more natural product. Every product/company in our shop has been researched by me to ensure that you are indeed receiving a natural, healthy alternative.

So is the term organic really all it is cracked up to be? YES!

Unlike the term natural, organic products and companies have to undergo lots of observations, requirements, checkups, certifications, assessments and more to ensure that the company/product follows the USDA's guidelines for organic. That little organic seal you see on the package of your organic products means A LOT. If it didn't pass regulations, then it wouldn't be there. That circular seal means that the product is 100% or 95% organic and has met all USDA certifications (if it is 100% they will denote that on the packaging). Any organic labeling that does not include the seal simply means that your product contains a certain percentage of organic ingredients. For example, the term made with organic ingredients, means that your product was made with 70% organic ingredients while anything less than that will just denote which specific ingredients are organic in the ingredient list (usually with an asterisk).

So is it really organic?

While sure we can argue that we were not there during the farming, manufacturing and so on of our product, we can be rest assured that these companies are following everything they can and are supposed to follow, in order to pass all surprise checkups and annual checkups. Organic companies have a passion and are not only passionate about providing healthier products but also about providing these products through a much more eco-conscious process than other companies. Why would they go through the headache and the cost to be an organic company just to fool you? They wouldn't and they wouldn't likely pass their certifications. Organic farming can be much more costly, time consuming and quite a headache in my opinion, so they go through this headache for YOU.

When you see that seal, you know that the company and the USDA has gone the extra mile to provide you with the healthiest product that they could. And luckily for organic eaters, recent research and studies has shown that organic food REALLY is healthier as they contain much higher nutritious content (more vitamins and antioxidants) than non organic items.

So as it turns out, organic really is what it is cracked up to be. And as for natural, well natural isn't always better, but if it turns out to really be a natural option, then it is likely a far healthier option than the other brands out there. 

So now I am off to enjoy my snack bowl of some organic fruits and raisins and some non organic fruits. You know why? Well because sometimes we can't afford all organic, sometimes not everything is readily available in organic form and as it turns out, we have to live a little. Do the best you can with the budget and resources you have to a healthier, much more organic and natural lifestyle.

And still enjoy chocolate. Because everyone needs that stuff.

Packing Your Hospital Bag {A Checklist}

Thursday, February 19, 2015

There are so many articles and books that talk about the various things that should and shouldn't be packed in your hospital bag. Truthfully it's really all about what YOU think you'll need and want, as each of us mamas are different. Chances are that no matter how perfectly packed you think you are, you will either forget something or have way too much. But it's totally fine...our pregnancy brains can't work perfectly sometimes!

Remember that having a baby is hard work and no one is expecting you to look camera ready at all times. Clothes don't need to be good clothes as there's a chance of them getting stained, leaked on or ruined somehow. And after labor you really won't feel like doing much makeup and hair upkeep, so just pack the minimal items you need to feel "decent" and you'll get the rest of your beauty from that new mama glow.

Clothing for You: 
(Pack with intentions of staying for three days and have your partner pack their own similar bag)

[   ]  If you're wanting to labor a particular way such as in water or naturally where you know you may labor for awhile, you can pack the appropriate clothing items. See bottom.

[   ] Yoga, gym type pants OR nightgowns that you don't mind if they get a little stained

[   ] Maternity tops as you'll still look and feel pregnant (hate to be the bearer of bad news)

[   ] Underwear that you can fit a giant maxi pad in there and make sure it's not a good pair!

[   ] Slippers and socks that you don't mind walking around in during labor

[   ] Robe, sweater or cardigan to throw over nursing tops and nightgowns

For the Breastfeeding Mother:

[   ] One to two nursing bras

[   ] Nursing shirts or tank tops in place of the regular tops mentioned above

[   ] Nursing pads -- a small pack of disposables are great for the hospital, but reusable ones will save money in the long run

[   ] Nipple Cream -- most hospitals provide you with samples of Lanolin, however some mothers prefer non Lanolin creams

[   ] Breastfeeding Pillow

[   ] Your breastfeeding book/resource for quick questions when nurses aren't around

[   ] Breast pump if you plan on using it from the start

For Baby:
(Baby doesn't really need much, the highlighted options are the only things you really need)

[   ] One to two options for that cute little hospital picture (perhaps both in different sizes)

[   ] Burpcloth or two

[   ] Going home outfit with a blanket as you are not supposed to take home hospital ones

[   ] Secure car seat

[   ] The hospital will provide you with blankets and a cap, but it's up to you if you prefer otherwise

[   ] Few onesies if you choose to dress them in something other than what the hospital provides

[   ] Socks, caps and bows if you feel like it is needed, however they stay swaddled up

[   ] Diapers and wipes if you're picky about what goes on baby

Other Essentials: 

[   ] Your birth plan, insurance cards and IDs just in case

[   ] Snacks for long labors and long days as well as some change for vending machines

[   ] Chapstick as many mamas experience dry lips during and after labor

[   ] Minimal hair necessities (hair dryer, shampoo, rubber band and brush)

[   ] Camera, Phones, Headphones, iPod and Chargers

[   ] Toiletries that includes minimal makeup products

[   ] Light reading if you think you will, chances are you won't though cause you'll be too busy playing mommy and enjoying company

Side Note for Natural Birthing Mothers: 
For natural birthing patients there are many more options to consider such as relaxing music, massage oils, birth oil, hand massagers, rice bags, positioning books, inspirational cards and so on. I didn't use any of that during my labor except for a few hand massagers, my medal and a pair of socks. It's better to be prepared, but when the time comes you truly have no idea what you'll need and want unless you have already experienced it. Then again, every labor can be different! 

What was in your hospital bag?

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