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working mom

LOFT sale – style that baby bump

December 10, 2014

Time to style that baby bump for work on a steal! Get over to the LOFT.com to check-out their sale – 50% + free shipping! They have some awesome maternity staple pieces which are on my MUST HAVE list for anyone expecting.

Don’t forget to dress up your style with a little bling!

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Happy Hunting!

LV ♥

– JLVR

newbie mom

pumping fail

December 4, 2014

Dan V was a little over one month when my sister-in-law got married.

I thought I was so prepared. I had tried to pump while I was home to get some milk for him that day knowing I’d be involved in wedding activities as a bridesmaid. I even had my dress altered so that I could pull the straps down from the top to hook-up Dan V or my pump – whichever! I was prepared.

That day began with hair appointments and promptly went downhill from there. Next thing you know I was shuttling my brother-in-law and husband over to my soon to be brother-in-law’s house to prepare for the festivities of the day, then I needed to hand-off the baby to my parents, from there it was off to get ready and hang in the bridal suite with the rest of the maids and the bride-to-be…. etc.

In all of the craziness my breast pump was left at my in-laws house, a 30 minute round-trip from where the reception and hotel was located. We were still getting acquainted and all, not attached at the hip yet – me and the breast pump that is. I hadn’t really begun to rely on it yet since I was still on maternity leave and breastfeeding V. So it just kind of got lost in the shuffle.

I thought “It’s OK, no big deal. I’ll be able to get together with the baby and breastfeed quickly, WE GOT THIS.” Get together with the baby? Breastfeed quickly? Ha! I mean I haven’t had a baby before but I had been to and in a wedding before, I should have known better! Not surprisingly a session with little Dan V did not happen.

I’m so organized, how had I omitted this very crucial piece of equipment?!

I’m not even sure the last time I pumped or breastfed that day, it all became a blur. After the ceremony we took pictures in the church and rushed into the limo for photo sessions around town. During pictures and on the limo thereafter I realized that I was in big trouble, really BIG trouble. I was literally bursting out of my dress. I was almost in tears, I had no idea what to do! My chest was hot to the touch and rock hard. I kept picturing myself standing in a hot shower and hand expressing with literally no time to do it. Either that or I was going to begin leaking through my bridesmaid dress as we were being announced into the reception. Either way = wedding ruined. (I clearly overestimate the impact my presence makes for emphasis really).

Thankfully two twenty-something boys, friends of my brother-in-law, came to the rescue. They stopped by my in-laws on the way to the wedding and dropped off my coveted pump. I have never been happier to see them. They were my heroes!

Not even 5 minutes later… there I was, standing in my hotel bathroom hooked up to a breastpump while carrying on a conversation with my Pinot Grigio sipping Mom.

It. Was. Glorious.

The rest of the evening was a fantastic celebration of a beautiful couple – without the distraction of a bursting bosom. We ate and drank and were very very merry. Later that night as my husband promptly passed out in our king size hotel bed while I spent a few extra minutes in the bathroom pumping directly into the sink.

Some things change, some things stay the same.

LV ♥

– JLVR

routine

prepping for daycare

November 4, 2014

As this picture demonstrates, having a tiny human and attempting to get out the door with said tiny human each morning can be an interesting exercise. For any working parent time management is a constant struggle, especially in the beginning when mornings feel particularly unpredictable. One of the best things we did was get into an evening routine to prep for daycare because the last thing we wanted to do in the morning is give up any precious minutes of sleep! Plus, prepping at night takes the pressure off of the morning routine. This was especially important when baby Dan V was little-little, the more time we had with him in the morning the better.

Our routine wouldn’t be complete without the products we used on the reg. Below is a breakdown of the gear you’ll need to make your mornings run smoothly…

Bottles

Bottles stressed me out. There’s entirely too many choices claiming to be superior – it’s all so overwhelming! Before Dan V was born I was obsessed with getting different types of bottles, fearful that he’d reject each and every one of them and go on a hunger strike. Little did I know that my V was motivated by food in general and didn’t so much care which bottle/nipple combination it came from. I ended up spending a ton of time returning all of the different types I purchased.

Whatever bottles you settle on you’ll want to be sure you have enough for daycare and some to spare. That way you can get a nice rotation going without having to wash/dry/reuse the same bottles over and over. If you at least have a two-day supply you can get in a nice flow between washing/drying overnight and those you’re prepping for the next day.

LV – Since the Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution items were the ones I actually opened and washed I felt committed to using them not only with my pump but to feed Dan V. Quite honestly I think V would have eaten from anything I gave him. These just happened to be first so we went with it. I’m glad we did, we had a constant flow of ready to fill bottles. No need to wash, dry and fill the same ones we used for that day.

 LEAVE – In theory this Calma® nipple from Medela sounds awesome, in practice it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen and have NO IDEA how this could be an elite design exclusively for breastmilk feeding.

Labeling

Avery Easy Peel Clear Address Labels

Avery Easy Peel Clear Address Labels

Letting my freak flag fly on this one. I’m obsessed with organization and loved using Avery Easy Peel Clear Address Labels to name and date bottles and food for V. Print off some clear labels with your little one’s name and the date to save time labeling multiple bottles by hand. It’s a small thing but can have a big impact.

Cooler Bag

Cooler Bag

Cooler Bag

Honestly most accommodating cooler bag we use on a daily basis is one we received for free as a promotional item. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to work. Something like this is great – it holds bottles and baby food perfectly and can be prepped and kept in the refrigerator the night before.

Bringing it All Together

Disney Reusable Shopping Bags - Mickey, Goofy, Daffy

Disney Shopping Bags

You’ll need an easy way to transport your baby’s things to and from daycare. We use a reusable shopping bag featuring Goofy that we received as wrapping for a shower gift. It’s the perfect catch-all for V’s needs. We can throw his bed sheet and blanket in there along with a change of clothes* and cooler bag.

* Don’t forget to have both an extra sheet/blanket and an additional set of clothing on hand at daycare, in the beginning especially. Our little guy was a came home a few times in daycare clothing – let’s just say they’re not the most fashion forward. 

Honorable Mentions

 

You’re going to be washing and drying a ton of bottles. We loved The First Years Spinning Drying Rack because it holds a lot and takes up very little space. We also loved the Playtex SmartBrush Baby Bottle Brush. It’s no scratch and the nipple brush screws into the handle ensuring that you always have easy access.

There’s no hard or fast rule on what products will work for you and your routine, but those listed above really made our lives easier. They don’t have to be fancy, they just have to work!

newbie mom

registry musts and must not

September 29, 2014

Here’s some quick hit items to add, or delete, from your registry…

MUSTS

  • Drying Rack – The First Years Spinning Drying Rack – It’s a space saver and holds an insane amount of items
  • Bottle Brush – Playtex SmartSpace Baby Bottle Brush – It cleans beautifully and has a smaller brush built in for bottle nipples
  • Burp Cloths – Suggested investment to avoid constant laundering
  • Swaddle – Summer Infant SwaddlePod and SwaddleMe – It takes the guess work out of swaddling when your baby begins to kick out of the traditional blanket
    • V skipped the pod but we used the SwaddleMe for a while, he loved to be swaddled arms out
  • Changing Station – Skip Hop Pronto! – Super easy and convenient without all the added stuff

MUST NOT

  • Drying Rack – Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack – It’s adorable and impractical
  • Swaddle – Miracle Blanket – Literally a miracle that anyone would choose to buy or use this item, it’s intense
  • Shoes – Adorable and impractical, your little one will not need shoes for awhile but if you want to get fancy while being practical check these out Trumpette – you can buy multi-packs of super cute enviable socks
    • When your little one is ready to walk these are the best, they are easy to slip on and stay on plus they come is wicked cute styles – Robeez
  • Dishwasher Basket – Munchkin Dishwasher Basket – We simply don’t run our dishwasher enough for this to be helpful
  • Wipe Warmer