Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To shoot or not to shoot

So, I decided to write about this because people sometimes ask me for advice. Usually related to party and wedding planning but now most of the time it is baby related.

I never thought I would write about this topic because honestly, I never thought I would take the stance that I do on the issue at hand.

To shoot or not to shoot?

No, I am NOT speaking of anything involving the shooting range.

A wonderful friend of mine who happens to be a photographer insisted on "shooting" me.

Throughout my pregnancy she kept saying "I want to get some belly shots!"

And every time she would say that I would cringe and say "No belly shots".

All I could picture...well, you don't want to know what I would picture.

To each his own, but I did not want the naked belly "sexy" pics.

No. thank you. sir.

After much convincing I finally said yes but on one condition.

That my handsome husband had to be a part of it and NO naked belly photos.

If you saw me while pregnant you know I was all belly and I was HUGE!

That's cool and all.

I'm so proud of my belly that I rocked and I even love my body every day for it what it gave me a beautiful little girl.

But the fact is, I am simply not photogenic.

However, my husband absolutely is. JERK!
just kidding

Seriously though, I do not photograph well especially with my big cheeks and swollen face.

I also happened to have been severely swollen the last 4 months of my pregnancy from the knees down.

Sounds glamourous, right? NOT!

Anyhow, I am so happy that my photographer friend convinced me to do the "shoot".

I love love love these photos and somehow she even managed to make a swollen blimp look pretty good.

I'm not sure if she used photoshop on me and I don't want to know. HAHA!

All I know is that she is genius.

I am so glad that I have these.

They mean so much I think because to me they represent the turning of a page.

Our last photo shoot before we became three.

Aw, it makes my eyes water just typing this.

We had a great time doing this even though I was very uncomfortable walking around our neighborhood taking the photos due to swelling, heat, and bugs but that's ok. So worth it.

These were taken 6 days before we met our little girl!

Can you tell I thought I was having a boy, I was even wearing blue.

So funny to me now, since we now have a precious baby girl.

So, plain and simple.

Yes, do the shoot.

Make sure you do.

I think the images are priceless and I'm so glad I gave in.

I was not paid for this endorsement but here's my wonderful friend's website. I love her work and I hope you do too.

Bette Walker Photography

FYI: she also "shot"our precious pups for us several years ago.

Happy "shooting"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Survival Mode

As I have just embarked on my first month of motherhood, I thought I would share those top things I couldn't have survived without.

I have this conflicting notion of whether to buy off of someone's registry or to buy them something unique.

For my wedding I was happy to receive something not on my registry, but with the baby registry I "needed" everything on my registry so I hoped to get those items first.

Creating a baby registry felt like a visit to hell and back so I wanted all of my stress and energy put towards it to be worth it.

Maybe that sounds bratty but until you've been through it you have no idea.

I loathed creating that registry and I am so glad it is over, until next time that is. Wink Wink.

For us, this is the Season of Babies.

We have a dozen friends expecting plus we just had our very own bundle of sweetness so we are deep into "all things baby".

It's amazing how quickly you learn and are thrown into this thing we call parenthood.

I bet the husband feels like an expert already although 45 days ago he felt like a lost puppy dog when the subject came up.

Funny how quickly things change.

Here are my top "can't live without items" for the first month.

In no significant order, just helping keep my sanity.

1. My iphone
This little device has been a godsend during my pumping sessions. It helps me keep track of time and entertains me. Words with Friends, Text Messaging, Facebook, Pinterest, TMZ of course all help the time pass quicker.

2. All things Lansinoh. Breast pads and HPA Lanolin Click here
Breast pads have been great for leaking and protection against clothing. HPA Lanolin is so great I wish I had stock in it. This is truly the number one item I would say is mandatory for any mom that is breastfeeding. You will understand once you begin that journey.

3. Skip Hop Bottle Drying Rack click here
Love this thing! We use it after every feeding so it is constantly being used. Every 3 hours! We use it for our breastpump accessories and our bottles.

4. Swaddles by aiden and anais click here
These are perfect for all weather types. Use as a swaddles, tummy time blanket, stroller cover-up, etc. The material is breathable and easy to wash. A friend showed us the "double swaddle" technique so you can never have enough of these. We have 8 and I wish I had more!

5. My girlfriends.
If I wouldn't have had my friends to ask for advice or their opinion I would have gone crazy. Having a few best friends who have had babies recently sure helped when it came to new products, breastfeeding advice, etc. Don't wait too long to ask for help. You will be surprised how much better you feel after you confide in a friend the obstacles you are facing as a new mommy.

6. Boppy pillow click here
This is my breastfeeding best friend. A regular pillow is not supportive enough. This is the perfect size for the little peanut to be propped up on for your nursing sessions. I recommend getting more than one cover so you can wash one and not have to worry about laundry all the time. One friend even mentioned having one for downstairs and upstairs. (My house is one level so I only needed one)

7. Fisher Price Rock n Play Sleeper click here
We used this as our bassinet. It's a great price and portable. You can move it room to room if you need to. Great for small spaces and for those who want baby sleeping in their room the first few months. Good for up to 25lbs. Cover is also washable which is a plus for me!

8. Boppy Noggin Nest Head Support click here
This accessory pairs well with the Rock n Play sleeper or any other swing or chair. It prevents flat-head since baby is sleeping a lot. Her head is perfectly round so it's working to keep her head round. All of the reviews I read, other moms had wished they had gotten it sooner so I bought it when she was 2 weeks old before we had a flat-head issue.

9. Sleep Sheep click here
I did not even register for this item and I received 2. I sent one to Grandma's house instead of returning it. It is convenient, is battery operated, and has a velcro latch so can be attached to anything. She loves the ocean sound setting but there are 3 others to choose from. We turn it on after each feeding when we put her down to sleep. She seems to like it and it helps baby relax.

10. Humility.
Remember, I said they are in no significant order. This one needs to be towards the top. A little bit of humble pie never hurt anyone. Being a new mother teaches you that it's way harder than you think and it's ok if you are not perfect. We all do the best we can and as long as we show our children love and support everything will be ok. This is not the time to strive for perfection. Your mommy instinct will guide you and it's always right.

11. Dr. Brown's Standard BPA-Free 4 oz bottle plus Premie Nipples click here
I love these bottles. Although they do come with a Level 1 nipple, I had to order premie nipples because the milk was coming out too fast for baby. (I ordered from Amazon because they don't sell premie nipples in stores.) She almost never spits up and we always get a good burp or two from her during the feeding.

12. MamaRoo click here
This swing is fun! It allows us to hook-up our ipod and play our music for her or we can choose one of the settings offered. This swing moves forwards-backwards, side to side, and up and down. We started her in this early so she would get used to it. Each day she seems to like it more and more. She loves it after her early evening feedings. We have it in the living room so mommy and daddy can have her in the room with us while we catch up on our day. It does not take up much room but looks like a spaceship!

13. Medela quick clean steam bags click here
These are great for on the go and at home. I use them at least once a day to sterilize everything after I wash with soap and hot water. Your breast pump accessories can be cleaned in these bags too which is an added plus.

14. Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced Backpack click here
There are no words for this one. It gets me through my day although I sometimes feel like it is attached to me. I chose the backpack for carrying to work but you can also choose the messenger bag style option. All accessories needed plus milk storage containers are included.

15. My diaper bag. Click here
I love this bag! I get so many compliments from it and people don't realize that it's not my purse. It has lots of sections along with a changing pad in the bottom for convenience. Great bags!

16. Husband
Last, but not least. Having a great partner to help you is priceless. We have learned even more how to work as a team. Let him help you!!!! I say this in the nicest way possible. We are all OCD to some extent especially when it comes to being a mommy, but don't do this to your partner or yourself. Let him participate in the bottle feedings, let him change a diaper, let him pick out clothes (it's ok, his fashion sense can't be that bad.) The few things dad does really make a difference in giving you a few moments to yourself. Don't feel bad waking Dad up in the middle of the night with you. I promise they want to help especially once they meet their sweet child's face!

So what do you think?

Is it a no-no to buy something not on one's baby registry?
If you feel like an expert and know what they will need or love something so much you want to buy it for others-is it ok then?
Tell me what you think.

I wish I could buy this entire list for everyone I know, even if they didn't register for my husband. haha.

These are my top 16. I was not paid for any of these endorsements. They are my honest opinion on being a new mother. You may not agree with me either and that's ok too. I just wanted to put the truth out there and let ya'll know how parenthood was treating us. I am sure I left something off the list so feel free to share what got you through.

Much love to all,
Momma KHAK