Archives

Family

You Light Up My Life

July 30, 2015

IMG_0389Before I had a baby I was very skeptical about motherhood. I read post after post from moms who talked about how fulfilling and amazing it was being a momma to littles, and I worried that I wouldn’t find it nearly as gratifying and wonderful as others described. I wondered, to be totally honest, if I had the “mom gene.”

We walked the road of infertility for two years before Ainsley arrived. Sometimes when you’re in the thick of charting and temping and visiting doctors and searching for answers you start to wonder what the point is, if you really want a baby, if the pain and heartache is worth the physical and emotional toll it takes on you and your family. After our second miscarriage, I told Joe I was done trying. That I didn’t have it in me to keep going and risk more heartache and loss. I was devestated, depleted, scared.

While I was pregnant with Ainsley I became increasingly worried that the expectations I had for her would be too great for any one child to carry. She was our miracle baby, her story and arrival into this world was unlike anything I had ever experienced firsthand. I was fearful that my expectations for motherhood would be too large for any baby to fill.

Our first couple months with this little one? They were HARD. There is no other way to say it. She was, and continues to be, a very easygoing baby, but the adjustment to parenthood didn’t come naturally to me. I was tired, scared and uncertain, questioning myself on almost everything related to baby care. Add a stint in the NICU when she was 4 days old, a scary (but ultimately OK) diagnosis, many specialist appointments and a surgery at 8 weeks old and I was doing my best to keep my head above water.

Being a momma is scary stuff. Fighting for your little one and advocating on their behalf? Gutwrenching.

But this whole motherhood thing? You guys, it’s turned into something wonderful. Around 3 months the haze lifted and the doctor’s appointments slowed down. Ainsley started smiling and giggling and becoming a little person with distinct likes and dislikes and funny quirks. And along the way I’ve been affirming my parenting skills. Am I a perfect mom? Hardly! But I frequently tell Joe, “I think I’m the best mom for Ainsley, and I’m doing a pretty good job!” Not because I want to be boastful or arrogant, but because this whole parenting gig is hard enough as it is, and a little (or a lot) of encouragment and affirmation is absolutely necessary.

So, Miss Ainsley, thank you for lighting up my life like none other. Being your momma? It makes me feel more “me” than anything ever has before. I couldn’t be more thankful for you, sweet pea, and I have a feeling that it’s going to keep getting better.

Madison

Food & Recipes

Almond Flour + Coconut Flour Coffee Cake

July 27, 2015

This post is brought to you in partnership with Lavazza. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.

Coffee_Cake_1

Happy Monday, friends! It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe around these parts. Truth be told, having a baby has hit my cooking game hard and I’ve been ever so slowly working my way back into the kitchen. Mornings have been all about quick, nutrient-packed smoothies and all the coffee, because Miss Ainsley still doesn’t have that whole sleeping through the night thing down. When you have a baby, it seems like everyone wants to talk about your baby’s sleep. “How is she sleeping?” is by far the most common question that I’ve received over the past five months. And when your baby isn’t sleeping great? Well it can feel a bit discouraging. In all fairness, Ainsley isn’t a bad sleeper or a good sleeper, just a very average sleeper. Now that I’ve accepted that fact, it’s easier to not be bothered by the night wakings and sleep deprivation.

When you have a baby, everything sort of comes to a halt in your life. My world? Totally rocked. I’ve been slowly “re-claiming” my life by venturing back into running and working out, cooking, spending time away from Ainsley and doing things I’m passionate about. It’s a balancing act to find the time to still be “you” while taking on this huge responsibility of mommy! Anyway, I digress…

Continue Reading…

Family

Turbans for Tots Giveaway!

July 22, 2015

Ainsley Turban

Sorry for the radio silence around these parts, friends! This week is a quiet one for Espresso and Cream while I get some new content ready to go and take a little breather, but I wanted to pop in and share a little about a company that Ainsley and I have been loving lately.

I discovered Turbans for Tots while scouring Etsy for cute baby turbans for Ainsley to wear. Girlfriend has some strange hair going on these days with lots of new growth and bald patches, so we’re all about headbands and turbans lately. I placed my first order with the company a month ago, and have since placed another order for even more turbans. The company is in no way paying me to mention them, but I love their products so much I thought I should do a giveaway so you can enjoy them, too!

I’m giving away $75 to the Turbans for Tots Etsy shop (which includes free shipping) below! There are a few ways to enter, so don’t miss out.

11381409_1605851183004697_1920554598_n

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fashion

New Mama Style |::| The Maxi

July 15, 2015

Pinkblush Dress 1

Pinkblush Maternity Dress 2
IMG_0114My mornings these days before work are non-stop. I get up early so I can let the dogs out and have breakfast (usually a smoothie) and a cup of coffee because I need to have a few moments to myself before the day really gets going. Then I jump into the shower and get cleaned up and ready for work, pack a lunch for myself and sometimes one for Joe, too, before I start to wash and prep bottles for Ainsley’s day and pick up anything around the house that was left from the nigth before. On an ideal day, Ainsley wakes up around 6:45/7, giving me a little quiet time with her to give her a bottle, cuddle and play before I head out the door at 7:40.

Since becoming a mom, I’ve developed a bit of a “style uniform” of sorts that helps me look put-together most days without requiring a lot of thought. Because, let’s be honest, I just don’t have much time to think about what I’m going to wear. I want a little more routine and a little less thinking involved in my morning routine.

I’ve been relying heavily on the maxi dress (including this maternity maxi dress from Pink Blush maternity) styled in two ways:

Casual: Maxi dress + sandals + long chunky necklace + cross-body bag (to keep my hands free!)
More polished: Maxi dress + blazer or jean jacket + delicate necklace + flats + structured bag or tote

It’s a no-brainer way to get dressed in the morning or for a casual night out with my hubby that is comfortable and cute, which is a major win in my book.

Dress c/o Pink Blush maternity 
Sandals from Target (similar style)
Necklace from The Golden Rule 
Bag from TJ Maxx (two years ago)

PS: While I was pregnant, I fell in love with the idea of maternity clothes (specifically maternity dresses) that could be worn post-pregnancy as well. The idea just seemed SO smart, since spending a lot of $$ on a maternity wardrobe just doesn’t make sense for most women. When PinkBlush contacted me asking if I would be interested in trying some of their cute maternity clothing I jumped at the chance and was SO impressed with the quality and fit. I can happily wear this dress without feeling like I’m wearing a maternity dress, and I love the idea that if baby #2 ever comes along, I will get even more use out of it!

 

Family, Pregnancy

Stay Healthy, Mama

July 13, 2015

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama® , but, as always, all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama

healthy mama 1

Healthy_Mama_2

Having experienced a couple miscarriages before getting pregnant with Ainsley, I was more than a little paranoid about what I put in my body. I was constantly worried about doing something that would compromise the health of my baby and desperate for a little peace of mind when I wanted relief from morning sickness or a headache or some other pregnancy-related aliment.

I’m a researcher by nature so I did a lot of scouring on the internet for healthy, safe ways to navigate the less-than-glamorous sides of being pregnant. My doctor was a good resource, as well as a few reputable baby- and pregnancy-related websites and books, but most of the products I found still came with a disclaimer for pregnant or nursing women.

Toward the end of my pregnancy I discovered that Target has a section devoted to pre- and postnatal care filled with healthy mama® products that are safe for nursing moms and moms-to-be. I wish I would have found the section sooner rather than at the end of my pregnancy!

During pregnancy and the postpartum period, my two greatest complaints were nausea (specifically the first trimester but also a bit toward the end of pregnancy) and headaches. I’ve always had headaches, but the postpartum headaches I experienced? They were horrible! I found a few little changes during the course of my pregnancy and after Ainsley arrived really helped…

healthy mama 2

healthy mama 3

healthy mama 4

Headaches

*I found that making sure I was getting plenty of iron in my diet was key! Since meat and veggies didn’t sound all that great to me during the first trimester, I was seriously lacking in iron. And some of the research I did also said that you start to experience the unpleasant effects of low iron around 18/19 weeks, which was exactly when I started getting really bad headaches!
*Hydration was also key to keeping the headaches (especially during the postpartum period) at bay. I kept a giant water bottle with me at all times and couldn’t get enough ice water with extra ice!
*When water and vitamins weren’t cutting it, I found that the cure-all was usually a cup of coffee (coffee in moderation is totally safe!) and a little bit of acetominophin, like that found in the healthy mama® Shake that Ache! pain reliever, was enough to keep the headaches at bay most of the time.

Nausea

*I only experienced a mild case of nausea starting around 12 weeks and lasting until around week 19, but it was enough to keep me snacking on carbs 90% of the time. My go-to remedies were salty kettle-style potato chips, lemonade and sparkling water.
*A lot of research talks about the benefits of consuming B vitamins to calm the nausea. I’m guessing that’s why healthy mama® included B vitamins and electrolytes in their Boost it Up! Protein Energy Drink. Although I wasn’t experiencing nausea when I tried this drink, I loved it anyway! And it’s a great caffeine-free energy alternative that’s safe for pregnant and nursing moms.

I am so bummed that I didn’t discover these products sooner. But I have a feeling that if we’re blessed to have another kiddo down the road, I’ll be using that section at Target as my go-to resource while pregnant and nursing.

Madison

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...