What Luke has been hanging out in

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Other than the extra hands I’ve had around since Luke was born a few weeks ago, the 4moms mamaRoo has been an ASSET. Luke loves it so much more than David did. David would tolerate it for a good bit, but he grew out of it pretty quickly.

Luke really relaxes with motion, and the “car ride” setting seems to be key in getting him to fall asleep.

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4moms released an updated mamaR00 with some really cool features. It has the same motions, and similar white noise options as the original, but a greater variety of fabrics and a newer interface for operating it. The biggest change is that it’s operable by  an app on your phone. Yes, that’s right.

Initially I didn’t think that was going to be a function I used very much, as I imagined I’d be close enough to the unit to just manually change any settings.

But, as it turns out, if Luke is napping in the mamaRoo, and I’m feeding David lunch and he starts to get loud, being able to turn on the white noise from my phone is a nice little feature.

My other favorite aspects of this infant seat are that the footprint is small and it’s lightweight. 4moms has never disappointed in quality, and the new mamaRoo lives up to their high standards as usual.

So, would you like to win one? 4moms is giving away the new mamaRoo to a lucky reader! Enter by using the giveaway tool below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*sometimes when I feature products on the blog, especially tied in with giveaways, I’ll occasionally receive some questions about what I do with the products I’m given. Since this new mamaRoo replaced a perfectly good original mamaRoo (that my parents bought us initially), the original has been donated to a local pregnancy support home.

5 Things to buy/try/do with Rachel of Saressa Designs

(This post is a part of a series I’m running while I’m on maternity leave! I asked a few fellow bloggers and friends what they would insist their own friend buy/try/do. I thought this would be a great way to get to know these bloggers a little bit, and to hear some of their secret “must-have” things!) 

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Rachel, the talent behind Saressa Designs, has been a long time sponsor of my blog. I love her jewelry and honestly wear at least one piece from the handful that I have on a weekly basis. It’s simple, feminine, and can easily be dressed up or down. I’m pretty much wearing casual clothes constantly these days, but I love wearing minimal jewelry along with it to feel more put together.

Anyway, I asked Rachel what 5 things she would insist a friend buy/try/do, and here is what she told me:

 

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1. You must own a bag from Rough and Tumble Bags. Having quality, well make handbag or tote is so worth every penny. Or, try a Farmers Market bag to start as they’re affordable, durable, super handy and cute!

2. You must try the lemon lip balm from C.O. Bigelow. It’s moisturizing, soothing, light and smells delicious!

3. You must go to the opera at least once! The music and talent are so incredible and moving. . . it truly is like no other experience. No cheating with a DVD either, it’s not the same!

4. You must taste the Butterscotch Caramels from Trader Joes. They are so delicious!

5. You must try Folex stain remover (we find it at Home Depot). It’s the BEST household stain remover I have ever tried. . . ever! And it’s doesn’t smell too strong or seem too harsh. I swear by it.

With 2 cats, and one that likes to toss his cookies on the carpet, I’m most excited about the stain remover recommendation. And that’s how you know you are an adult . . . when stain removers excite you.

Thanks for your 5 suggestions Rachel!

Luke’s Arrival

My second son arrived at 12:59p on February 12th! Did you see this video from last week?

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blanket: Lippy Brand, onesie: Burts Bee’s 

Luke is still in a sleepy newborn stage,but I’m going to jump the gun anyway and call this kid content. He hasn’t cried for any prolonged period of time (yet) and has been such a delight. He’s seriously low maintenance, a great eater, a wonderful sleeper, and I can barely remember life before he arrived.

The day of my scheduled c-section felt like a regular thursday. The busyness of a toddler made it hard to spend much time thinking about the impending arrival of another baby. And, while I am so happy that we waited to learn the sex of the baby until delivery day, I think not knowing if it was a boy or girl was a bit of a hinderance in me “bonding” with the baby while I was pregnant.

It took me a little while to bond with David after he was born, and prayed it would be different this time around.

And it has been. 

The only request Justin and I had regarding Luke’s birth was that he could tell me if the baby was a boy or girl. My doctor, whom I love, was totally game for it, and each nurse that was in the operating room while I was being prepped was warned not to say anything when the baby was born so Justin could tell me.

I was a little bit more nervous for the c-section this time around. And I’m not sure why. Everything was incredibly smooth and easy, I felt no pain whatsoever, and the entire procedure went by in a blink of an eye.

Shortly after the procedure started, Justin was allowed to come into the room and sit by my head. I was crying, not from sadness of course, but just from all the emotion I was feeling.

Seemingly just seconds later I heard my doctor say, “There’s the head!”

And the next thing I know people were rushing around and a nurse was telling Justin to stand up, and I heard him say, “IT’S A BOY!”

I will never forget the look in his eyes when he told me.

All I remember saying is,”Really? A boy? Are you sure? That is so fun! Two boys! That is so fun!

Like I mentioned in my last Q&A video, I really didn’t have a strong feeling either way about the sex of this baby. I’d love to have a girl, but I imagined two boys this close in age would be a lot of fun too.

I imagined them sharing  a bedroom, and throwing the ball with Justin when he get’s home from work. And also wrestling and breaking things in my house because. . .well. . .two boys.

I didn’t realize how thrilled I would be with a second boy until I knew I had one. Learning that information opened up something in me that I didn’t know was there, if that makes sense.

After the procedure, when I was being rolled back to the room we were going to stay in, Justin and I had to laugh as we saw it was the exact same room we were in when David was born. And one of the same nurses was on duty as well.

It was only 14 months ago that we were there with David, but being back made it feel like yesterday.

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My parents brought David with them to the hospital for a visit the day after Luke was born. It was so great to see him, and he was very interested in every single cord and button in the hospital room.

We showed Luke to him, he maybe glanced for a second, and then moved on to find something to investigate. At 14 months, he really doesn’t understand anything that is going on. I anticipated that, but was really glad to see him rather uninterested versus jealous.

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Since Luke was doing great, and my recovery was going really well, we were able to sneak out of the hospital a day early. I completely understand why this happens, but nothing is worse than being woken up from sweet sleep to get my blood pressure checked in the middle of the night. So, when the doctor okay’d me to be discharged, we jumped all over that.

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The transition home was made incredibly easy thanks to my parents and my sister. I was able to rest a lot, and slowly get back into the swing of things. My sister stayed for a few days after Luke was born, and is returning in a few weeks for another visit. My mom generously offered to stay for a few weeks to help, which is an indescribable blessing. My dad is coming to visit on the weekends, not only to see his grandsons but also his wife!

My in-laws live closer to us than my parents, so they’ve been down to visit as well!

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Between our two male cats, my two boys and my husband, I’m severely outnumbered.

But I couldn’t imagine it being better any other way.

New Frames for Justin

Justin doesn’t get a lot of face time on the ‘ol blog. It’s sort of hard to integrate him into the hair + beauty realm, plus when he’s home from work I try to quit working too so my camera is put away and we just do our evening routine.

He is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro later this year and I’m hoping he takes some great photos/video while he’s there so I can share that experience with you. I’m so jealous that I’m not going on that trip. First of all, it’s a boys trip and someone has to stay home with the kids. Baby monitors just don’t work from that far away.

Maybe eventually I’ll get to climb some mountains with him. Nothing sounds more fun and exciting to me.

Anyway, I have SO loved wearing glasses these days now that I finally have cool frames. In fact, I had to wear glasses during my c-section recently and my doctor (who also did my first c-section) noticed they were new and mentioned that she liked them! In case you missed it, you can read about my David Kind experience here. I also shared some tips for eye makeup when wearing glasses here!

Justin wears glasses on occasion. He used to wear them more regularly and seeing me get some cool frames recently got him interested in upgrading his as well.

I excitedly reached out to David Kind and see if they wanted to help Justin pick out some frames, and was thrilled when they went for the idea!

I’m curious about what frames you like the most for him, so I took a quick photo of him wearing each set of frames (3 of which he picked out, and 3 of which a stylist chose) below.

Well, first is a photo of him without glasses.

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So, it’s pretty hard to shoot nice images of people wearing glasses without getting a huge glare in the frames from the window, but I did my best. 

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 The Arbutus in Matte Charcoal

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 The Hartford in Palladium 

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The Rhodes in Black. 

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The Raleigh in Dusk 

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The Clover in Granite. These were definitely his least favorite.

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 The Trenton in Glacier Gray

So which one’s are your favorite on him? 

We flip flopped from the original frames we chose and landed on The Trenton in Glacier Gray. It’s funny how the first impression sometimes just needs a little bit of time. He initially really didn’t like these, but after wearing them for a little bit longer, and comparing them to the frames he thought he liked better, he decided these were the winners.

Justin is an engineer, through and through. In other words, no one pays closer attention to quality and craftsmanship than he does. If I had a nickel for every time he pointed out how poorly designed something is in our house, I’d be rich. And not only does he see those things, but he often has a pretty good idea about how something could be better designed.

He really appreciated the quality in the David Kind frames. From working with the brand over the past year I’ve learned that their frames are made in Japan and Italy, where other high quality designer frames are made. And their lenses are HD digital lenses versus the cheaper polycarbonate. There’s zero glare and no “fuzzy” edges. I’ve had glasses in the past that created a distorted image when I looked toward the edge of the lens, but I haven’t had that issue with my David Kind frames.

Other than the quality, my favorite part is having a optician pick half of my frame suggestions. That aspect makes the whole process much more fun. And it’s easier, in my opinion, than walking into a store with way too many options.

So now we wait for the Trenton’s to arrive!

Click here if you are interested in trying out the David Kind experience! There’s zero obligation to buy, and free shipping both ways with your try-on kit.

 

**David Kind is gifting these glasses to Justin.

 

Allow me to introduce. . .

As if photos of my newborn son weren’t precious enough, Jordan shot a little video capturing a few moments from our newborn session this week.

And I cried when I watched it. And then I watched it 45 more times. 

Luke and David have been such immense blessings to me and Justin, it’s impossible to even put it into words.

Video credit: Jordan Maunder, Music: “Light”, Sleeping At Last