I Am Baby’s Walking Milk Dispenser – Now how do I enjoy a couple hours out.

Breastfeeding should be an Olympic sport, especially during the first few months with a newborn. A girlfriend of mine recently asked me why babies cry? And I said, at the beginning, for the most part, it’s usually because they’re either hungry or tired. My babe is almost always hungry, and I proceeded to tell her I pretty much breastfeed baby about every 3 hours, 24/7, for the first 3 months… on top of pumping, in order to freeze milk for those special times I get to venture out without baby.

Well tonight is one of those special occasions, kind of a mini adventure. A mama-girlfriend and myself are heading out for our first Dine En Blanc experience. Sure you pay for tickets, bring your own table, chairs, decor, place settings, food, and don’t know the secret location till an hour prior to, but I guess that’s all part of the excitement. An adult rave, if you will. Lol!

I will be venturing away from baby for a good handful of hours, but my milk will still be producing as if I were breastfeeding baby. So how do I enjoy an (early) evening out, with my trusty travel double-pump, and bags upon bags of frozen breast-milk in the freezer so that baby can still enjoy her warm meals at home.

Don’t be fooled by that Mansur Gavriel bucket bag, it’s not all glitz and glamour inside. I’ll be able to squeeze my wallet, phone, and hopefully a Kylie matte lip kit, so that I can leave lots of extra space for my double pump + bottles. Tonight we’re supposed to wear all white, travel to an outdoor location  which I have no idea what the amenities are, all while I make time to pump at least a couple times through the evening (and with an all white macaron tower in tow, to use as our edible table centrepiece). All well worth it to enjoy a couple hours of an adventure with an awesome friend. I hope to be home in time for the dream feed.

Watch tonight’s adventures over at SnapChat: @littledreambird
xox

 

Mother Juggler

One thing I can guarantee after your baby has arrived is… Change. Your body changes. Schedules change. Priorities change. The amount of sleep you get definitely changes, lol. And more.

After all of that (and then some) I always knew for myself, a priority was to have a sense of self. Call me selfish, but I wanted to make sure I was still enjoying date nights with my husband, quality time with friends, outings with the girls, me time at the gym, or a little spoiling at the spa, on top of all that quality time with my little loves.

Balance looks different for everybody, priorities are different for everybody, so you have to make sure you do what works for you. People ask me how do I have time to do this or that, and my answer is a quote I saw on a Pinterest board (Pinterest, oh how I love you so). “Be a duck swimming in water – Calm + cool above water, but paddling like hell underneath”, and that’s pretty much me in a nutshell.

On a final note… Funny little things (or annoying little things) I do to keep myself organized (or so I think):

  • Lists: Who doesn’t love good old fashion to-do-lists. Depending on the priority I still do hand written sticky notes, lists in my phone’s notepad, or lists in my online calendar that ping at me when something is due.
  • Leave Things Out: Just how people used to tie a string around their finger as a reminder that they have to do something (do you remember that, or am I dating myself), I like to leave things out or out of place so that I know I have to do something with it. IE: Leaving out empty garbage bags, to remind myself that I have to replace the ones in the kids’ rooms, or leaving empty Medela bottles on the kitchen island to remind myself to pump. Sounds silly I know, but it works.
  • Do It Now: I like to “do things now” (of course my husband hates that). But I figure, there’s a good chance I’m going to forget what I need to do in the next 5 – 10 minutes due to the kids are calling, somebody’s diaper needs to get changed, or I’m receiving a text. So the best way to nip that in the bud, simple… do it now.

And that’s all folks!
xo

A Whole Lotta Things Happen To The Body After Baby

And these are my favourites to help combat, battle or ease all the bodily transitions that happen. You know… Because having a baby isn’t a challenge enough😛

Nipples: I guesstimate the transition from non-breastfeeding to breastfeeding nipples is about 3 weeks. Perhaps it happens quicker for some, or slower for others, but that’s the average for myself. Some may even be so lucky to not get this “breastfeeding nipple transition” pain, but I’m not one of them. So one of my new faves to use is Honest’s Organic Nipple Balm It gets slathered on after every feed + features only high quality, organic certified ingredients safe for ingestion. Yaaaas!

Eczema: I get Eczema on my fingers, I also now wash my hands about a million times a day amid cleaning, handling the baby + kids and everything in between. Luckily I found Satya Organic Skin Care. No added fragrance, USDA certified organic, and locally made here in Vancouver, BC, plus it works… it really works.

Keeping Calm: I’m a big fan of calming scents, and my 2 faves are Woodlot’s Refreshing Mist (the kids love it too, and ask me to spritz them daily), and Woodlot’s candle collab with Tight Club (one of my favourite gyms to get my sweat on at). I swear it really brings the calm into a crazy day. Anything for a moment of solitude.

Ooh Baby: And of course, this sweet little newborn babe is transitioning into the world from the womb, so sometimes they have things going on as well. My first little one had cradle cap, my second had yeast build ups in their rollie-pollies, and now the third has pealing skin. My faves for them, that are either all natural or organic and have worked for all three are Dimpleskin’s Bum Bum Balm + Sweet Cheeks, and Bebe de Luxe’s soothing Coconut & Oat Milk Bath in a glass jar. Their newborn + gentle skin just eats this up!

Laundry: Now let’s not forget the loads + loads of never-ending laundry. Before kids I never really thought about what I washed clothes with, it was pretty much whatever was on sale or smelled really good. Then I became aware… much more aware of what goes into these cleaning products. I started using Ecos Laundry Soap, and just recently discovered a local shop called The Soap Dispensary. All natural or environmentally friendly, and it works, it really works. I like things clean so I was happily surprised to discover that you can use options that are good for you, and that also really work and get clothes clean. Because it’s never fun walking around with spit up stains + smells :P  Happy dance!

Saran Wrap, and Nipple Balm and Ice Packs… Oh My!

I’m a sucker for a good flat lay, but recently having babe #3 I realized there are definitely some essentials that I use on the daily that don’t make it into any photos.

And I don’t know about you, but the transition into breastfeeding is an uphill battle. The first couple of weeks are a pain (to say the least), so I always keep these essentials close by. Saran wrap squares, organic Honest nipple balm, Medela dual pump, organic nursing bandeau, breast pads, Numpfer multi-use bibs and ice packs. The un-glamorous stuff that doesn’t make the photos, but are definitely necessities.

Now, what do I use these for + how do I use them…

  • Saran Wrap Squares + Nipple Balm + Breast Pad: May sound crazy, but totally works for me. I pre-cut 3″ x 3″ squares, put the nipple balm on after every feed (which happen A LOT the first few weeks), then cover it with the squares. Keeps everything moisturized and there is no harsh rubbing against a dry breast pad or nursing bra. And then when your milk has fully come in (usually around the 3rd – 5th day) you may start leaking a little (or a lot, like myself) so then I like to top it with a breast pad.
  • Breast Pump + Nursing Bandeau: I’m a fan of pumping + freezing, on top of breastfeeding. And since pumping takes up a little bit of time, and I like to multi-task as much as possible, I wear a bandeau so that I can do emails while pumping. 2 hands free = a world of possibilities, lol!
  • Numpfer Bibs + Ice Packs: And of course the wonderful world of being engorged. Everybody has a different experience with breastfeeding, and milk coming in, etc, for me… I get super, SUPER, engorged when the milk finally makes its appearance. To combat the overnight swelling + uncomfortableness, I take hot showers and use Numpfer’s bibs to help massage + express milk out to get things flowing, followed by a little ice time. Ahhhhhh…

And like I mentioned the first couple of weeks are painful. Like, toe cringing, eye closing, teeth gritting painful. I like to call it the body’s “adjustment time” into breastfeeding. But if you keep at it, like they say, it gets better (it really does) – Enjoyable even.

3rd Time’s a Charm [But not really]

Being in the thick of having our 3rd baby, I’ve already received comments like “you’re a pro”, “this ain’t your first rodeo”, or “you’ve got this”… While it’s true that I know a thing or two about a thing or it, I’m no pro by any means. Labour is always intense, meeting babe for the first time is always exciting, but it’s the first few days (let alone weeks or months) that are in all honesty… crappy.

The first time around the new babe hit our house like a hurricane. Nights rolled into days and rolled into nights again, sleep was abysmal to say the least, and the endless crying (maybe more-so from myself than the babe) were depressing. Those days are long gone though, well with babe #1 at least. And here we are again at square one with babe #3. But this time I’m armed with the knowledge that “this too shall pass”. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, sleep will come, showers will come, and everything will be rainbows & sunshine again.

Till then cheers to all the new babies + new mamas everywhere. (Seriously, you deserve a drink😉 lol)

34 Weeks Pregnant + Keeping Busy

Since this is my 3rd pregnancy (and actually my 1st one not having gestational diabetes, yay) it’s been my goal since the beginning to keep as active as possible (just like with the other pregnancies). But this time I think I may have said “yes” to pretty much everything thrown my way… Which actually was a good thing. I find the busier I am, the more efficient I become with my time. Non?

At 34 weeks pregnant I was part of a volunteer team who planned, fundraised, and rode (yes, rode a stationary bike at 34 weeks, totally not as bad as one would think) in “Ride Vs One” In short, Ride Cycle Club lead a 1 hour spin class, at the Vancouver Art Gallery (it’s never been done here before), each bike’s goal was to raise $2000, in order to raise money for Imagine 1 Day to build a school in Ethiopia.

The planning started in October 2015, with a small team of 6 volunteers, and meetings were strategically held after 7PM (after the kids were in bed to not miss any awake time with them😉 The event happened on June 26, 2016 + it was AWESOME! What a little hard work + dedication take you, not to mention a go-getting team, is amazing.

Hospital Bags: To Pack or Not To Pack, That is the Question

As the saying goes, third time’s a charm. And with that, I am slowly getting ready (and packed) for our trip to the hospital for baby #3. My thoughts on the needed + necessary of the “hospital bag”…

I’m all for being super prepared, and so for our first trip to the hospital I actually packed + brought a full sized travel suitcase to keep my mind at ease with all the things I thought were necessities. Let me tell you, that suitcase took up a good quarter of our teeny tiny hospital room, and we ended up rolling it in and out for most of the time (a not fun thing to do after delivering a baby), as we had lots of visitors coming through. Lesson learned, less is more. What did I even put in that suitcase you ask, I think an over-abundance of clothes, magazines to read (yes, I really thought things could possibly be calm enough to read, hah), blankets for the baby, etc. Basically a mini version of my house, lol.

With the 2nd I was able to pack a medium sized lululemon gym bag, and now with the 3rd my goal is to get everything into an easy sized backpack. With all that being said, you just have to pack for whatever you need or whatever makes you feel at ease, maybe less maybe more… Just keep in mind you’ll be lugging around whatever you bring, plus a newborn in a carseat after all is said and done😉

My favourites to pack:

  • Boy shorts underwear (you’ll definitely need this, or bigger, for apres-bebe)
  • Overnight super-soak pads (or a friend even used depends) yes, totally needed
  • Sports drink (yes, you may be there for a while so electrolytes are your friend)
  • Pajamas/sweatsuit
  • Nursing bra + nursing tank
  • iPod/iPhone + chargers
  • Camera + charger
  • Slippers with grip/flip flops
  • Toiletries (lip balm is my go to, and I always opt to shower at home after)
  • Outfit/onsie + receiving blankets for baby
  • Oh, and nipple cream (seriously my best friend for the 1st few weeks)

Simple as that🙂

Happy + healthy baby vibes.
xox

 

Now that the Storm is over, getting back to the routine.

I don’t know about you, but the first few weeks… Errrrr, couple of months after having a new born were basically like a hurricane came through the house. Yes, some people definitely adjust quicker + easier, but I wasn’t one of them.

I’m not afraid to ask for help, and that’s when we brought in Betty from http://newbeginningscanada.ca/. I like to call her my “baby whisperer”, and she was there to be our support-system + coach through breastfeeding, sleep scheduling, basically surviving the day to day, and more. She has 4 babies herself, so I really felt at ease with her + knew that she totally empathized with the recovery after birth, the body’s transition into breastfeeding, the long sleepless cry-filled nights (I’d be crying just as much as baby), and the list goes on.

That was 2012… and now I’ve somehow managed to be pregnant with my third. When if you asked me those first couple of weeks after having a newborn if I’d have more, it was a definite no, lol. Now I’m slaying my days, getting up early to hit the gym before the kids are up, taking on fundraising events to help others, bringing the kids to their daily activities, having date nights + dinner with friends when the kids have gone to bed, and just all in all being happy to survive the day to day with kids in tow.

I tell people having kids is a learning curve, and you get into a “new swing of things” and learn how to live a balanced life, or more so a well-juggled life, before you know it. We all have our good days, and bad days… But just remember, it always gets better. xo

The Evolution of Our Kids’ Toys

From starting off with 1, then 2, and now a 3rd babe on the way, the evolution of toys in our house has changed… Along with the aesthetic of it all. I have to admit, with our first I pretty much bought anything + everything that I thought was adorable. Then when the 2nd arrived I purged as much as I could, and kept toys as gender neutral as possible. And now with #3 on the way, I wanted to minimize the clutter even more.

Our go-to favourites have become wooden trains (of course we still have some Thomas The Trains in the mix), sports balls, kids teepees, and a handful of stuffies. For the little babe I’ve fallen in love with Nin + June’s wooden gym, Otherware’s teethers, Trae Design’s wooden toys + storage, and Live Free Baby storage.

Funny how having more kids has made me want less toys in the house. What are some of your favourites?

Travelling With Kids is a Whole New Ball Game

We all love travelling, seeing new places, experiencing new adventures, and more. But who’s nervous (if not terrified) about travelling with kids, especially for the first time? Some people are fine… but I unfortunately was not one of those.

It turns out it wasn’t as bad as I had envisioned in my head. With a little bit of pre-planning + pre-packing it can actually be an enjoyable experience. Here are my fave little tips.

Make a List
Make a list of what to bring, for yourself, for the kids… and maybe even for your husband if you’re so inclined. I like to have this list ready at least 3 – 4 weeks out so that I have time to go over it, see if I want to remove/add anything, and have plenty of time to do it.

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Image couresty of https://www.pinterest.com/anastasiarapa/summer/

The Packing
Normally, for just myself, I like to be packed at least 4 days before departure. But because the kids will probably need to use a lot of the stuff you’re packing for them on the day-to-day, I like to have the luggage packed at least 3 days out, but I leave them open + accessible.

Things to Pack
It’s really dependent on their age, how much you’ll have access to possibly purchasing while you’re away, and really your comfort level, and that varies for everyone. The first time I brought my first to Mexico I kind of packed the whole house… you know, just in case. We literally had 3 suitcases, but on top of that a portable crib, a bouncy to sit in, stroller, car seat, car seat transporter, baby carrier, carry on bag and diaper bag. Yes, sounds crazy, but at the time this was my comfort level + my sweet sweet husband went along with it.

Now having travelled with 2 kids, I’ve learned to become a bit more efficient over time, a bit, lol. On our latest trip to Mexico we had 3 suitcases again, but this time we opted to rent a crib at the hotel, rent a car seat through the car rental agency, but chose to still bring the stroller because I just find it easier to buckle up the kids + wheel them along.

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Image courtesy of https://www.pinterest.com/tenfirst/travel-gear/

Diaper Bag / Carry On
There is no perfect science to this. What you pack + need is dependent on your kids’ age, and what you know they’ll need to make this flight as comfortable as possible, as well as how many hours you’re travelling for. Again, because I kind of need a lot in my comfort zone, I like to bring a lot of “just in case” things. I even brought wrapped treats with a little note for all the guests sitting around us for baby’s first flight. It breaks the ice, and opened up communication, but everybody was really great.

Here’s a little list for the kids…

  • Wipes, wipes and more wipes
  • Diapers (1 per hour)
  • Ziploc bags (for dirty diapers, sealing soiled clothes, packing toys separately)
  • Change of clothes
  • Blanket
  • Bottles + Formula (age dependent + an additional 2 feeds)
  • Toys (also 1 per hour)
  • Fully charged iPad with lots of games + movies
  • Baby Carrier / Stroller (age dependent)
  • Your trusty LDB cover (helps with naps on the go)
  • Snacks + baby food
  • Pacifiers
  • Travel size toiletries
  • Baby/Child Gravel/Advil/Motrin
  • Lollipops for sucking for take off + landing

And for the parents don’t forget the necessities…

  • Vodka (totally kidding)
  • Plane tickets
  • Passports (make sure ahead of time they’re all still valid)
  • Pens
  • Travelling documents, receipts, confirmations for rentals + hotel
  • Notarized consent form (if both parents are not travelling together)
  • Travel insurance
  • Electronics chargers
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Change of clothes
  • Travel size toiletries
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Image courtesy of https://www.pinterest.com/provestraoffici/kids-and-babies/

Anyways, practice makes perfect so we just keep on travelling with the kids, and minimizing as we go. Plus the older they get, the easier it gets. Hope this helps, and wishing you happy + relaxing travels!