Friday, April 28, 2017

Happy Friday you guys! I am slowly trying to get back into the swing of blogging semi-regularly. Maternity leave has been much busier than I imagined it would be... amazingly busy but hasn't left me with all the free time in the world to blog, watch Netflix, and read lots of trashy novels like I imagined. Tiny humans require a LOT of your time, believe it or not :) Anyways, on to my random five of the week!

[O N E]
Last week I had a dermatology appointment for a total body skin check. A few years ago I had a severely dysplastic skin cancer removed from my back that left me with a pretty big scar and a permanent reminder to lather on that sunscreen, wear a hat and sit under an umbrella at the beach. And the thing is, I have never laid in a tanning bed a day in my life! Proof that preventative skin checks are super important! I love that my friend Emily just posted about this same thing last week. Call a dermatologist and schedule your skin check today!!

[T W O]
A few weeks ago I posted a picture of my new espadrilles on my Insta story and had SO many questions about where they were from. Target for the win (duh). I have linked them here... they are super comfortable and only $25! I also scored these adorable heels that I cannot wait to wear on repeat this summer.

[T H R E E]
I just love supporting small businesses and hardworking mamas and when I find a shop I love I want to pass it along. One of my favorite shops since having Vivi is Willow Crowns. All of Vivi's gold headbands from her newborn shoot were from Willow Crowns and she also has a lot of their gorgeous bows.

[F O U R]
I had a lot of questions about my distressed white jeans. They are from Old Navy and only $36. They are super comfortable and I've linked them here.

[F I V E]
It is so amazing what a woman's body goes through to carry and deliver a baby. I am almost fully recovered from my C section and have started to ease back into the gym. I got cleared to begin exercising at 6 weeks but was told that I can't do abdominal/core exercises until 10 weeks postpartum. From the IVF process to pregnancy to a major surgery, my body has gone through so much in the past year so I am truly giving myself grace when I can barely lift 10 lbs or do 5 squats without being sore haha! Baby steps people ;)

Linking up with April

National Infertility Awareness Week

Thursday, April 27, 2017

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, a week that is so important to those of us who have battled that awful disease. Last year during this week I was in the middle of the IVF process, taking multiple shots every day and gearing up for an egg retrieval. This year we have come full circle and I am holding our IVF miracle baby as I type this.

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples will face infertility? Someone you know is likely experiencing the heartache of not being able to have a baby. There is nothing more gut wrenching than failing at something that should come so naturally. There were so many nights spent crying myself to sleep. So many dark days, tears, anger, jealously. Having people ask, "when are y'all going to have kids?" felt like a knife in the chest. If I could have just shown myself a glimpse of what life would look like on the other side, it would have made those days so much easier. I never could have imagined how much joy this little human would bring to my life. She made the struggle 100% worth it.


Last week we took the all too familiar 2 hour drive back to our fertility clinic but this time it was so different. This time I had my miracle baby in the back seat. It was such a dream to show her off to our doctor who made her and our nurse that walked us through every step. These people will always hold such a special place in our hearts... they gave us our world, our greatest desire.

Is someone you know struggling with infertility? Let this week be the week that you reach out and say something. Don't know what to say? Just say something. Read my post about how you can support someone struggling with infertility. If you have any questions about the IVF process or infertility in general, don't hesitate to email me! I'd love to chat!

Linking up with Annie

Vivian Kate | 2 months

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

11lb 9 oz. She got her 2 month shots yesterday and it was absolutely heartbreaking. Poor girl was fussy and not interested in eating all day.

She is a pretty good sleeper at night, thank goodness. We typically feed her around 8pm then put her down and she will sleep until around 2am. We give her a bottle and put her back down and she is back up around 6:30am usually. She is mostly only waking up once a night but last week she had a cold and it threw her schedule all off. She started waking up 2-3 times a night again but I am hoping we are over that! During the day, that's a completely different story. She protests nap time unless she is being held. It is like pulling teeth to get her to sleep for 30 minutes during the day, it's awful! However, if I put her in her carseat and go somewhere in the car she will immediately fall asleep and stay asleep until she gets hungry. Any tips on getting babies to nap?! I can't get anything done at home because she insists on being held to nap!

She is eating 4oz every 3ish hours. If she's sleeping good sometimes it will stretch to 4 hours and sometimes it's closer to 2 hours.

She is wearing 3 month clothes now. A few weeks ago we were in a transition period where her 3 months clothes were swallowing her and her newborn clothes were too small. I had to go buy a few 0-3 month outfits just to get us through! She has SO many cute summer things that are 3-6 months that I can't wait for her to wear but I am not wishing the time away!

Being in her carseat, riding in the car, going on walks in her stroller, being held, bath time, being in the Solly wrap

Laying flat on her back, nap time, being hungry

In her second month of life Vivian experienced her first Easter at the beach. We had the best time! She even got her first visit from the Easter bunny and she didn't even care ;) She brought the UNC tarheels good luck and slept through watched her parents' alma mater win the 2017 National Championship! She met some of her cousins that live out of town. She started smiling and cooing and oh my gosh melt my heart into a puddle! Such a great month!


Vivian, you changed so much during your second month of life. You are starting to develop personality and you have a big one for that tiny body! You are stubborn and we call you a diva because you definitely know what you want and you get your way! Your smiles melt me and I love watching you grow and change every day. You have your dad wrapped around your finger and you are my little sidekick. We love you so!

Vivian Kate | newborn photos

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Before my sweet Vivi was born I knew I wanted newborn pictures taken. I am so bad about using my nice camera and I wanted good, high quality pictures to frame around our home. While going through the planning process and also the actual shoot, a few things stuck out to me and I knew I wanted to pass them along to other mommas/soon-to-be mommas planning newborn pics.

Here are 5 tips to consider when planning and taking newborn pictures:

1. Choose your photographer wisely. Know their style. Make sure they are flexible and able to work around your schedule.
I began exploring options for photographers when I was around 5 months pregnant and quickly decided on Amanda Nichols. She lives about 2 hours from us but I fell in love with her bright, crisp, classic style of newborn pictures. Make sure you have seen your photographer's newborn pictures and like their style. In terms of planning, I told my photographer my due date and she penciled us in for a date after that. However, since Vivi came 3 weeks early, we texted back and forth to find a Sunday that worked for both of us. She was so great about giving me plenty of dates and letting me choose. It is super important that you use a photographer that is flexible because you never know when your baby will come! You don't want your photographer to be so busy that your baby is a few months old by the time they can squeeze you in!

2. Have a noise maker available.
Vivian kept waking up to the sound of the camera clicks so I turned on white noise pretty loud and she snoozed away, no longer bothered by the camera or our chatter.

3. Take baby's pictures alone before family pictures.
This was such a good idea and I cannot recommend this enough. We laid Vivi down and got all the shots of her by herself sleeping before we passed her around and held her. Our family pictures woke her up and it would have been nearly impossible to get her back to sleep peacefully for shots of her alone after that.

4. Feed baby right before the photographer arrives.
Fully belly= happy and sleepy baby!

5. Have all outfits, swaddles, and accessories planned out ahead of time.
This is so important and saves so much stress and time. I would also recommend trying everything on the baby before the shoot begins. I made a rookie mistake and had brand new bloomers that I was just positive would fit her. Wrong! So I hadn't tried them on until the shoot and they were huge, messing up one of my outfit ideas.

I was so scared Vivian was going to be awake and crying the entire time but she did amazing! These pictures are SO special to me and I could not be happier with how they turned out. We will cherish them for the rest of our lives!

Linking up with Annie

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