Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Holiday Survival Kit

Holiday season is in full effect! Today, I want to share a few of my must haves for the holidays. First and foremost, you want to look good AND feel comfortable, right? I keep my legs warm and keep my belly in check with  Hanes firm control Power Shapers. This way, I can indulge in all the holiday goodies and not appear bloated.

I love to keep my lips festive with a deep berry color. My favorite at the moment is Kat Von D liquid lipstick in BAUHAU5, matched with LA Girl lipliner in Rose. This pair is sure to last through the night, even after eating and drinking.
Speaking of eating and drinking, another must for me is red wine; a favorite being Stella Rosa Red. You just can't go wrong with Stella Rosa. A great bottle of wine is a great gift to bring to a party. If wine isn't your thing, another fail safe party gift would have to be a box of yummy assorted chocolates. My favorite have always been Sees Candy chocolates. And if you have somehow forgotten to buy anything as a gift, Christmas cards are great to stuff cash or quickly scoop up a gift card. I always keep extra Christmas cards on hand.
So the bottom line is: show up looking great, and bearing sweets for your hosts, or guests, and all will be merry!

Happy Holidays! :)

Thank you to Hanes for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

8 Months Old

Zane is 8 months old now! He also has 6 teeth now! His two top front teeth came in, and then his incisors made their way immediately after. When he was cranky from all the pain, I would give him hylands tablets, tylenol, and I nursed, nursed, nursed! Nursing on demand around the clock helped him so much. I was so worried about him biting me because he would clench his jaw and grind his teeth in discomfort, but somehow, he miraculously knew not to bite me; amazing! He has a gap between his top front teeth, and I think it's just the cutest thing ever!
As I've mentioned plenty of times, I exclusively breastfeed Zane. I didn't really know when to start giving Zane baby food, but a part of me wanted to put it off for a while, selfishly because I still want the strong nursing bond that we share. I read and was told from fellow mothers that the right time to introduce baby food id generally when the baby can sit up on his/her own, unassisted, has mastered their pincer skills, and expresses an interest in watching your food. When Zane exhibited all of these things, I reluctantly knew it was time to try. I started off with rice cereal mixed with my breast milk, but Zane would close his mouth tightly each time I brought the spoon to his mouth. Later, I tried sweet potatoes, and that went better. I will keep trying until he falls in love with food, but I still want to breastfeed through his first birthday.

Monday, June 8, 2015

7 months Old

Zane is 7 months old! Now that he sits up on his own, he feels like such a big kid, and loves it! He plays with his year old cousin everyday and she calls him 'baby'. He started swim lessons this month, and so far, he does not like it. Even though his lessons are only 15 minutes long, it's painful to see him look so unhappy. I just keep reminding myself that he won't remember any of this. Zane's first two bottom teeth are coming in, and he has been such a brave little boy through the teething process. Zane is loving all his chew toys, but especially when I just wet a wash rag and tie it into a knot. I can't lie; I'm terrified of Zane using me as a chew toy when he nurses, but so far so good.
I didn't mention this in my 6 month post, but it is definitely worth mentioning that my hair has completely stopped falling out, and is all growing back. I may have a ton of wild baby hair, but I will take that any day over bald spots. Just before the 6 month mark, I grew incredibly impatient with my hair constantly getting tangled due to the hair fallout, and I told my mother I was going to cut my hair to my shoulder. I had given up on my hair, but my mother ran out and brought me hair detangler and promised my hair would go back to normal, and as soon as Zane turned 6 months old, my hair really was back to normal. I hope this gives hope to my postpartum mamas who are dealing with the awful postpartum hair loss issues. It really does get better and I'm living proof!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

6 Months Old

Zane is now half a year old! It is amazing that time has flown by, and it's hard to remember life before he entered it. I have already become that mother who obsessively photographs every breath he takes, but how could I not? Babies change so much in their first year of life, and I feel compelled to chronicle every little detail about him. It's truly refreshing to see the world through the eyes of such a young soul; so much joy in every new discovery. As we get older, we tend to get jaded, and sometimes our true talents and gifts can get suppressed. Our little ones, however, are fearless about the world. They will take a leap of faith, even if it's a literal leap off the bed and onto the floor, lol. Point being that they feel that they can achieve anything, and have such an innate joy for life. I will do all that I can to turn that spark into a flame, and encourage Zane to always be fearlessly himself, and to be proud to share his gifts with the world. He has already colored my world.

Monday, March 16, 2015

5 Months

Zane is 5 months old! His hair now stands straight up and he looks like a Teddy bear, which is fitting, because his middle name is Theodore, or as I like to call him, Teddy. He has to be the happiest baby I have ever encountered, because he has a permanent smile on his face, and lets out the cutest uncontrollable giggles. His giggles are so contagious that no one can keep a straight face around him. I am constantly pulling out my camera to record his beautifully blossoming personality. Every time I'm in deep conversation with someone, he starts talking just as seriously as I am, and he's truly as involved in the conversation as I am. It's the cutest thing ever! I can't wait for him to start really talking, and saying, 'Mama'! He is always bouncing on his feet and trying to stand up. He's still teething, but with help from the Hylands teething tablets, it all seems to be tolerable.
I have to say that the 5 month mark is probably my favorite, because he is so aware and happy, yet not mobile enough that I have to chase after him and grab things from his hands. I am definitely going to miss this phase!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

4 Months

Each month unfolds new milestone discoveries that amaze me. This month is when Zane really began talking, and by talking, I mean nonstop! I'm convinced he's speaking some ancient language he's fluent in. He babbles so naturally, with such conviction and tons of expression. His babbles are music to my ears; I could listen all day long. He holds his head up perfectly now, so I can wear him in my ergobaby360 carrier easily. I've been taking him on nature walks and he loves to look around and observe the ducks and turtles swimming in the pond.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Three Months

As we entered the third month, something very exciting happened. Zane started giggling, and even laughing uncontrollably! He always giggles when I kiss him and it melts my heart every single time. We also took out first plane trip: from Los Angeles to New York. I nursed Zane during takeoff and landing and gave him Tylenol once we boarded the plane and he was an absolute angel! He sat on my lap the whole time and was so well behaved that people couldn't believe there was a 3 month old on the plane with them. We spent the holidays in NY so Zane could meet my sister and her kids and some of his fathers family. Zane loved spending time with his family, but after two weeks, we were ready to be home and back on our usual schedule. He was such a good trooper through all the traveling and they say the first few months are the best times to travel with your little one. Once they become toddlers, it gets more challenging.
Zane started teething for the first time, right around the 3 month mark, chewing on his hand, drooling and crying in pain. I've been giving him Hylands teething tablets, which seem to help.  I also got a bunch of teething toys for him to chew on, but I don't freeze them, because he hates anything cold. I've heard about the amazing effects of the amber teething necklace; that it reduces pain and eliminates drooling, so I went out and bought one. I placed the cute necklace on Zane and sat back to enjoy the magical effects, only to deem it as ineffective. Zane's drooling had not decreased in the slightest, and maybe even increased.  I kept the necklace on him for a few weeks, before removing it, and not noticing the slightest difference either way.

Postpartum Hair Loss

Right around the 4 month mark, I started to notice my first postpartum side effect: dramatic hair loss. This is very normal and usually occurs between 3 and 6 months postpartum, when your hair hibernates for a prolonged period of time, before making it's debut. I noticed it suddenly, when I brushed my hair and a handful of hair came out in my brush. My hair gets so unruly and knotted that I have to braid my hair or put it up in a bun to prevent my hair from turning into a huge rats nest, yikes! Every single time I brush my hair, hair falls out by the handful, so I don't brush my hair everyday anymore.
Unfortunately, when I wear my hair up in a bun, my hair loss is incredibly noticeable. My hair that frames my face has fallen out and highlights my receding hairline as shown in this photo below. I used a hair thinning powder and applied it to my hairline, and it has made a world of a difference! I feel confident wearing my hair up again, thanks to this amazing powder!

I am also taking Biotin vitamins, which I recommend!

In a few months, my hair will grow back, and I'm hearing that I'll have a ton of baby hair that sticks up. I'll gladly take that over having bald spots. Bring on the baby hair!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Zane is two months old

As we entered the second month, Zane was gradually beginning to realize that he was here to stay, and that wasn't a bad prospect. I was still dealing with major nipple pain from feeding my barracuda of a baby, but once I recovered from my mastitis (breast infection) the pain faded away. Zane slept for longer stretches through the night, and I when I was too tired to move him back into his co-sleeper, I'd keep him in bed with me. I noticed that he always slept longer when he was in bed with me, so he gradually skipped the co-sleeper altogether, and we have not looked back. The best part of the second month was getting to see his first smile! He had been smiling in his sleep from day one, but to see him smile on his own because he was actually happy was the best feeling in the world! The 8 week mark also meant I'd completed my c-section recovery (yay!) and could work out and no longer needed to wear a girdle.
Zane had his first job: modeling for Ergo Baby. this was pretty exciting. We brought Zane to the studio and he was placed in a swaddle and photographed, laying over a furry blanket. Zane did an amazing job at his photoshoot, and we are so proud of him! I'm still waiting on the photos and will post as soon as we get them!

Friday, January 30, 2015

One Month Postpartum

The first month was by far, the most challenging. Not only was I recovering from my c-section (ouch!) but also getting accustomed to caring for a newborn and the lack of sleep that accompanies parenthood. Night time was the most difficult, due in part to the fact that Zane had no concept of night time. There is a reason the first few months of life are referred to as the "4th trimester" and that is because Zane still thought he was in my tummy, or at least desperately wanted to be back in my tummy.  When I was pregnant, I ate pretty much all day long, and Zane wanted to maintain that eating schedule, nursing every hour, including night time feedings, and poopy diapers, which meant zero sleep for me. I had him sleeping in the co-sleeper, which is part of the Pack-N-Play (a must have!) right next to my bed. I knew early on that I wanted Zane to sleep in the same room as me, because I knew I would be nursing, and we'd eventually be co-sleeping. Zane was a great napper, sleeping from 2-4 hours during the day. Night time was another story: a big cycle of waking to feed & burp,  then diaper change, then feed and burp and rock to sleep, then poop and wake up, etc. It was a never ending cycle at night, and I became a full on zombie for the first few weeks. Eventually, Zane would sleep for longer periods during the night, which offered much relief. Every time I changed his diapers or clothes, he looked shocked and scared, realizing he was no longer in the comforts of his mama's warm belly. This first month was exhausting, but also amazing, getting to know my little one and fall deeper in love with every passing minute.