Push present: Diamond Band

In the south we like to do something called a “push present”. Basically it is where, in exchange for birthing a baby, mom gets something she wants from dad. Honestly, sounds pretty fair to me. If you’ve never heard of this don’t fret – you can tell your husband later and demand recompense 🙂

Anywho, years ago before Dave and I were even married, I read an article on Pinterest where this woman got a diamond band each time she had a child (thank god she only had 3 and not 7) and stacked them with her engagement ring. The idea was that when her kids were old enough to get married she would give them “their” ring to use in an engagement ring or a wedding band so that they each had their own and didn’t have to fight over her engagement ring. I loved the idea, so when David and I got married I told him I didn’t want a wedding band I only wanted an engagement ring, but that he would pay for it down the road. LOL

When Kensington was born I got my first band – a beautiful platinum infinity band with diamonds (convenient that Kensington’s birth stone was a diamond). I loved the way it looked with my engagement ring and figured even if platinum or infinity bands are out of style when she gets married she can always use the diamonds.

With Everett’s birth this year I wanted something to compliment my existing rings but be slightly different. His is a beautiful band with 7 round diamonds. I absolutely love it.

What were some of your push presents?

XOXO

Kendall

Baby Bedtime

IS there anything worse than the first few weeks with a baby who won’t sleep? For both of our kids swaddling was the secret to a calm baby and we relied heavily on sleep sacks (since in class swaddling a doll with a muslin cloth was really easy but a squirming baby in real life was dang near impossible). Recently I’ve discovered my new favorite baby product: Swado Swaddles. They sent mean to try and they are amazing!

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These swaddles are super soft and come in tons of patterns, but thats not why I like them so much. Instead of velcro like other swaddle companies (which are not just loud but also really jarring when you open them twisting around the baby) they have…I don’t even know what to call it – Magic fabric? It seriously sticks together even though I can’t explain why and comes apart way easier than velcro but is just as strong when it’s on the baby.  I can’t recommend it enough.

I do not receive any compensation for product purchased but I really love it! Highly recommend.

XOXO

Kendall

First Month with Baby

Everett is officially One Month Old today. I seriously cannot even believe it. Recovery this time has been so much easier! I’m already cleared for exercise (3 weeks earlier than with Kensington) and totally feel like myself. It’s a miracle. What’s even crazier is how similar and yet different they are. We had Everett’s Newborn pictures done and this about sums it up:

Where Kenzie was super independent, slept great right off the bat, and was just hanging out (get it? get it? Pun Intended) Everett loves being held, wants constant attention, isn’t a bad sleeper but struggles a bit more than Kensington. We had our amazing photographer (if you’re in Dallas she’s amazing – see her website HERE) recreate this favorite from Kenzie’s shoot with a “boy” spin so that we could have some parallelism with their shoots. Both my beautiful woodland babies. LOL.

We wanted his pictures to be outdoorsy and have lots of earth tones like his nursery (see Nursery blog post HERE). As per usual she did an AMAZING job and totally hit it out of the park.

I swear she is the baby whisperer to make our grumpy old man baby look so peaceful lol. Over the last month we’ve really gotten familiar with his “SOMONE BETTER PICK ME UP RIGHT NOW” cry, finally gotten to see his beautiful eyes (he didn’t open them for days after birth, They’re Navy like Kenzie’s was so I anticipate them changing), and been able to see what a newborn with crazy intense head strength is capable of – caution when holding: he will flip out of your arms with his crazy old man baby strength. #Fact

My photographer also had this incredible idea of doing a vampire setting for one of his pictures. David and I used to camp ALL THE TIME when we first started dating and really bonded over our love of the outdoors. TBH I think it was that ability to travel and love of camping/being outside that really solidified our relationship so of course we jumped at the chance. It’s the cutest thing ever:

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Then because Dave is such a sports guy, and played baseball for years (even was able to walk on in college), we made sure to get an ADORABLE baseball picture of our little boy.

I know everyone says having daughters is more fun because you can dress them up and put them in bows etc. but I am unbelievably excited for sports with this little guy. I’m gonna be that mom who knows all the players stats and goes to every practice. Sorry in advanced.

Then Last, but certainly not least, we took some family pictures. Ugh. They are the best. Seriously.

Are they not the cutest siblings ever? Seriously…

Me just loving on our newest addition. He’s so squishy and I love him.

Dave just looking like a model…like always. And trying to brainwash Everett into being an Aggie and getting a corporate job. I don’t think he’s having it though LOL

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And the worlds best family photo (but I’m biased LOL) Laura was amazing and brought Kensington’s face in from another picture, smoothed out wrinkles in our clothes and made the lighting perfect. I can’t believe it. I’m glad I like it since I ordered a huge canvas for our house. God help us LOL.

Ultimately having two kids under one is…a lot. It think it would be slightly easier if Kensington could walk, but ultimately its not as terrible as everyone warned us (maybe I can thank them for setting bad expectations so I could be pleasantly surprised). It’s definitely more challenging if one of us wants to go do something and the other person ends up 2 on 1 but its still a beautiful suffering. LOL.

XOXO

Kendall

Kensington’s First Year Pictures

We love our photographer! Anyone in the Dallas area with young kids: ModlPhotography is AMAZING! She did Kensington’s newborn pictures and we’ve been back every 6 months since LOL When Kenz turned one we wanted to memorialize it with a cake smash and some family photos and per usual she didn’t disappoint.

In honor of her “Alice in One-derland” birthday party we did some blue and white pictures. She was so cute!!! Laura said she’d never had a kid turn and ride the chair like a pony…thats my kid. haha.

We wanted to get some family pictures (and make it look like she loved her brother before he was even here LOL). Not to mention, she wanted me to model this FABULOUS dress and I jumped at the chance.

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She set up this beautiful cake smash set…which Kenzie quickly destroyed.

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She looked so blissfully happy though – it was TOTALLY worth the sugar crash that happened two hours later.

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At the end we got this adorable milk bath picture with these super pretty flowers. She still has icing on her face but *shrug* who cares?

XOXO

Kendall

Whats In My Cart Wednesday – Newborn Essentials

For this week’s edition of What’s in my cart Wednesday – I’m talking about our favorite “Newborn Essentials” for Everett. These are the things we’ve used the most in his first 2 weeks. I’m hoping that any first time moms out there or moms with difficult babies find this list helpful:

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BUMBO – So Everett is too little for this right now but we used this EVERY DAY with Kenzie as soon s she could sit up and still use it every morning while I make breakfast. It’s on our kitchen island so she feels involved and frees me up to do dishes, cook, feed her, get snacks, and generally have my hands free. SUPER Recommend.

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Wubbanub – We love these Pacifiers and having the animal on the end make them so much easier to find. We have 4 between our two kids and love them.

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Diaper Backpack – I’ve talked about this bag before but it is so well designed! Areas for clothes/bibs/toys, snacks, diapers & wipes, bottles, Mama’s stuff, and it’s so easy to see into. We really love it and the backpack keeps my hands and hips free for kiddos.

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Rocker – We love this vibrating rocker for the kids – it helps them nap when needed and keeps them contained during dinner when they are too small for a high chair but you want them near the table. It also has adjustable heights so it can be low to the ground or all the way up with the chairs at the table.

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SleepSacks – A lot of hospitals use them now so you’re probably pretty familiar but its basically a dummy proof swaddle. Swaddling a doll is easy – a moving squirming baby? Not so much so we love these for nighttime. Plus we always feel our kids sleep better in them. You can do hands in or out depending on your kids preference (kenz only wanted hands in but E HATES his hands being bound and wants them out).

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Breast Pump – I think this brand is the best. I used it with Kenzie and Everett. For me I choose to pump so Dad can help with feedings and night time events, plus it gives me more freedom to go do things during the day. Totally personal preference but I love this one.

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Dock-a-tot – They’re expensive. Sorry bout ya. But seriously the best. Our kids slept SO well in them, its easier to move them around while they’re sleeping (for example if we’re relocating form bedroom to couch we pick it up with them in it and they can stay asleep), and I don’t have to worry about them rolling over. Gave me peace of mind and helped them relax during the night.

XOXO

Kendall

Shop the full list HERE

Taking time for yourself post-baby

With two kids under 13 months (yeah…we’re gluttons for punishment) it’s easy to get wrapped up in the kids, and keeping the house clean, and feeding everyone and all of the other Mom to-dos that come with a full house. A friend of ours says you’re not really a parent until you are on one-to-one coverage or higher and man do I agree. Having two kids is a totally different playing field than one, and we are adjusting as fast as we can. But that being said – it is SO important to take a little “me-time” to do what you love and relax.

For me, I have a few guilty pleasures that are my non-negotiables. These can be different for everyone but for me they’re:

  • Coffee – I have to have an iced Macchiato every day. Otherwise I’ll get a headache or fall asleep like a narcoleptic or just be generally cranky. Don’t come between this mama and her coffee. Thanks to my Mother’s Day gift I no longer have to run to Starbucks for coffee. My husband spoiled me with THIS amazing espresso machine and now I make my lattes at home.
  • Working out – this is my stress reliever. If I don’t workout my anxiety runs rampant and I become super tightly wound. I need the release.
  • Reading – even if it’s only 30 min a day (or right now 15 min every 3 hours when I pump) I like getting lost in a good book. I don’t really watch TV so reading cheesy teenage paranormal books is my equivalent of trash TV.
  • A good night’s sleep – not really super possible with a newborn but to the extent that I can sleep, I will. I am as close to a narcoleptic as you can be without actually falling asleep random places. I LOVE SLEEP.

I’m recommending that all Mamas out there take some time for your guilty pleasures. Carve out some time (min usually is during nap time) to workout, or read, or take a nap, but in general spend it doing something that RELAXES and resets you. NO! Dishes & laundry don’t count – I abhor an untidy house and compulsively clean but don’t waste your hour doing that. Take the time for yourself, and maybe assign a household chore or two to your husband to help. Or ask him to watch the kids for a hour so you can rest. Or take them to an hourly daycare for an hour or two a day. It’s OKAY!!!! Ask for help and don’t let your needs fall to the wayside in favor of everyone else. You’re a member of the family too and when Mama is happy: Everyone is happy.

Having kids requires comfy pajamas – that’s pretty much all I wear day & night unless I’m planning on leaving the house so here are 4 of my favorite pairs including the one I am wearing in the cover pic.

 

PJ1 – LINK

PJ2 (what I’m wearing in pink stripe) – LINK

PJ3 – LINK

PJ4 – LINK

XOXO

Kendall

Whats in My Cart Wednesday

It’s WEDNESDAY!! This week was a bit of a shopping week for me (too much down time while pumping and in the hospital LOL). So I’m sharing a few things I got for myself, a few things I got for the kids, and some things I’m excited to try.

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Excited to try: Anastasia Gel Liner in Midnight I LOVE their eyebrow pencil so I’m super pumped to try their eyeliner.

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These PJs are so soft! I needed some classic jammies for running around chasing the kiddos and these are perfect for summer!

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Boon Grass dryer – we had one from when we had Kenzie but now we need two: SO MANY BOTTLES AND SIPPY CUPS

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Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush – Other bloggers SWEAR by this brush and it was on sale and triple points. So sue me lol

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Boon Bath mat – Kenz is too big for her tub but I don’t love the bath mat we have so I got a new one thats more sanitary and it hangs on the shoer head to dry. brilliant.

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I showcased this super cute Free People top in my Flat lay yesterday but I really love it! cozy, flowy, and a beautiful color. BUT SIZE DOWN.

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Lastly, I bought Kensington this Doll when they restocked this week and its GORGEOUS. They let you select the hair color, style, outfit, shoes, and bow. Then you can mix and match over time. Check these girls out – their shop is so cute! ORANGE BLOSSOM DOLLIES

XOXO

Kendall

Mom Approved Quick & Easy Hairstyles

Having a baby coincided with me retraining my hair to only need a good washing once a week. I’m assuming many moms feel this way. And there are days (more than there are not) where you don’t have time or want to put in the effort to really style your hair. So here are some quick mom approved hairstyles I’ve found to be my favorite over the last year and even more so in the last week.

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This is one of my go-tos especially if I’m working out a bunch. It’s great because it keeps ALL the little baby “mom bangs” (what I cal the new hair that grows in while you’re pregnant or on prenatal) out of my face and contained. Steps:

  1. Part hair all the way down the back into two sections
  2. Starting near the part on the first side select a small section close to the center and begin your braid
  3. As you progress use the french braid hairstyle (gathering additional hair each time a piece moves to the outside – see a good tutorial HERE) until all hair on the first side is in your braid pieces
  4. Finish the braid, tie elastic, and then gently pull braid apart to give it more fullness (I have SUPER thin hair so mine always look tiny)
  5. Repeat on the second side – I usually pull out a few pieces to give it a messy look if it’s for running errands or leave them tucked away if its for a workout

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This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE quick up-do. I wear it when I run errands, when I workout, when I have formal events, to work, the list goes on. It’s super easy once you get the hang of it. Steps:

  1. Side part hair to preferred side
  2. Similar to the pigtail braids above – select a small section of hair close to the part on the “larger” side. Begin braiding and pulling in additional hair french braid style as you progress. DO NOT put the full side of hair into the braid – try to keep it close to your face about 2-3″ wide
  3. Once the braid is done secure with elastic
  4. Pull remaining hair back into ponytail at the base of the neck and tuck in the braid
  5. Twist hair into a spiral around the hair tie and secure with bobby pins making a low bun at the base of the neck. VOILA!

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Lastly, my signature pony. I love a good high pony (blame it on the years as a cheerleader) but there are a few tricks to the perfect pony. Steps:

  1. I like to pull out a few pieces around my face before beginning
  2. Pull remaining hair into a high pony tail (I like to flip my head over and collect all the hair near the top of my head)
  3. Pull out 1 small piece at the back near the neck (should be one of your longest pieces of hair)
  4. Tie remaining hair with a hair tie and tighten (I like to pull the hair on the top of my head out a little for more volume/poof but thats a personal preference)
  5. Wrap small piece of hair around base of ponytail to hide the hair tie and secure with bobby pin
  6. MOST IMPORTANT HACK – take an additional bobby pin and put it UNDER the ponytail loop side up through the hair tie. It will kind of dig into the tie/scalp and make a “prop” for which the hair can rest on. This will give it MUCH more volume and keep it looking fresh all day instead of falling flat

Hope you guys like these fun looks and try them out. They really are life savers when you’re busy and on the go. Comment below if you try them and let me know what you think.

XOXO

Kendall

Shop my look HERE

Friday 5 – Delivery Edition

I can’t believe its Friday (all of the days this week have sort of blended together), but it is a very important Friday. MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU. Yeah – nerdy Star Wars reference. You’re welcome. But more importantly than that, it is our son’s first Friday in the world so in his honor instead of just doing 5 facts about me (do you guys feel like you know me super well by now?) I’m going to do 5 facts about Pregnancy/Delivery that I didn’t know before I had babies, but wish I had. I do solemnly swear NOT to give you gory gross weird facts. Just some slightly odd facts. and stuff. So here we go…

  1. Your nipples get bigger. And Darker. Sometimes. I felt like this was WAY more pronounced with my first child but it’s basically for your blind-as-a-bat baby to find the milk and the right place to latch. I felt SO weird when it first happened but don’t worry – they shrink back down after you’re done breast feeding.
  2. It takes a YEAR after birth for everything to make its way back into its original place. Think about it: your Uterus moved up into your tummy to make space for baby and pushed everything else out of the way. You are not going to walk out of the hospital feeling 100% with your organs and tummy back in place. It just ain’t gonna happen. Give your body some time.
  3. Epidurals – the Lidocaine they give you before your epidural…hurts. A Lot. like a lot a lot. My sister in law actually gets her epidurals WITHOUT the lidocaine (and she has four kids!). I’m not that brave so I still get it but it hurts. Prepare yourself.
  4. Labor can take a long time. Even if you are on Pitocin, even if you’ve been having contractions, your body might just struggle with it. My first delivery took 23 hours. 23 hours! And all but the final hour of it was just getting my body to respond to Pitocin and dilate. Now my second delivery was only 8 hours, 1 hour of which was waiting for the doc and holding the baby in, and I didn’t even need Pitocin, but every pregnancy is different. Just don’t plan to be in and out in a matter of minutes. Not a thing.
  5. Babies are gross. They look like little old men when they are born, their skin peels off, and their first poop… man. Make sure you change it right away (it looks like black tar and if you let it harden it can take an act of God to help you get it off – and lead to a crying baby)! BUT – the second you hold them, and realize that you just birthed a baby, your heart gets a little bigger to make room for them. I will tell you – for me personally – the whole “as soon as I held him I was in love” thing didn’t really happen. Now as soon as I held him I knew I would jump in moving traffic to protect him, and I did love him, but there was no “instant super deep connection”. With both of my kids it took time to develop those deep bonds and feelings. So if you have your baby and think “I’m not feeling it, everyone said I would feel it” – you. are. not. alone. I have a stronger connection with my daughter right now than my son, but I’ve known her longer. I feel like that makes sense. But they are both my kids, I love them and would do anything for either of them. But for me it wasn’t instant. **That being said – if at any point you feel like hurting yourself or your child or apathetically leaving them somewhere this can be a sign of postpartum depression. It is a real (and really serious) thing. I have friends who have gone through it and it is ROUGH. Do not hesitate to call your doctor. Do not hesitate to tell your husband. Do not chalk it up to “I’m tired”. Do what is best for you and your family. Love and support in abundance from me to you.

 

So that’s my 5 facts for this week. Maybe you knew all of this, maybe not, but I feel like each time I do this crazy thing (you know…having a baby) I learn something new. Was there anything you thought was weird and learned in your delivery? Comment below! I’d love to hear!

XOXO
Kendall

Introducing Baby E – Kid 2

Yesterday we were able to welcome Baby E to the world! Delivery was SUCH a breeze. it’s so funny how all things are relative – I thought Kensington’s brith was super easy and relatively uneventful, but I was wrong. Everett’s birth was so easy – less than 8 hours and only 7 pushes. total. It was a breeze. It was also pretty funny – the night nurse we had was the EXACT same nurse who delivered Kensington. 1 year apart. And then we had the same recovery room. Weird. The hardest part was we had to wait for my doctor to get out of surgery and I had to hold the baby in – that was the most difficult part. #blessed

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(Please ignore my RBF LOL)

He has been perfectly healthy and is nursing REALLY well (Kensington was never able to latch so I can’t event ell you how happy I am that we were able to get him latched on). We knew before he was born that he has hyrdonephrosis (basically an issue with his kidneys) so today he got an ultrasound that they’ll send to his pediatrician and pediatric Urologist for review (meanwhile I’ll hope for the best).

We brought Kensington in yesterday & today so that she could get to know her baby brother a little bit. She is incredibly curious about him, but seems to be confused when actually interacting with him. Like she isn’t sure what to do. But I know she’s going to be a great big sister (when she stops crying out for attention that is).

We are so unbelievably happy to have this healthy boy in our lives (and I’m unbelievably happy to be no longer pregnant although post part recovery still sucks). I’m sure I’ll be sharing a MILLION more pictures over the next few weeks so stay tuned! I wish I could thank every nurse and doctor who was part of this great experience again – we were very lucky.

XOXO

Kendall

Shop my Hospital Bag HERE

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