6 Things That I Have Forgotten About Newborns…

Marley and Mom | PepperDesignBlog.com

Marley and Mom | PepperDesignBlog.com

Two weeks! We made it! Yesterday marked our two week anniversary of Marley’s birth. These two weeks have been some of the most hectic days of my life but we’re working through them one by one. Not necessarily a bad hectic. Just a wow-my-head-is-spinning hectic.

First, I can’t even say that I’m going completely solo at this whole parenting three thing yet. I’ve had so much help from so many people that we love (family coming to visit, nana coming by the house frequently, my ‘mother’s helper’ stopping by for a couple of hours for the older girls, nearly all of our meals made for us…) that I can count on one hand the days that I’ve actually been out numbered by littles.

I think part of the crazy factor is just the change in rhythm around here. Having my work hours carved out of the middle of the day has always been a helpful break between the busy-ness of parenting. Work has its own challenges, but it usually doesn’t involve reasoning with a toddler, cleaning up spilled milk for the fifth time, wiping walls free of honey-covered finger prints or negotiating tantrums. (usually). I think that once we develop our rhythm over these next six remaining weeks of maternity leave we’ll be in much better shape (these guest mom posts on motherhood have been really helpful).

I think that I expected this transition to work as seamlessly as Taylor’s addition to our family. Going from one to two wasn’t so challenging (two arms, two kids?). Going from two to three feels very different mostly because I expected to just keep on keepin’ on (Marley would fit in, Marley would go with the flow baby-wearing style) when in reality I have in my arms a newborn. And we are doing the newborn phase right now. And they are a different but lovely breed.

Six things that I have forgotten about newborns:

1. Your schedule goes out the window. Establishing a routine to our lives is part of what makes our family days work pretty seamlessly. Adding a newborn means that life is jumbled (errands, sleep/wake time, get-stuff-done time, playtime…) and that feels cra-zy. Working on subtly sneaking Baby Wise and Baby Whispering into the mix. :)

2. How much stuff they require. I’m pretty laid back when it comes to diaper bag packing. I’ve actually sort of abandoned the diaper bag for a spare diaper and wipes in the car with Taylor, and now we are back to almost fully loaded. Because there’s nothing like realizing that you forgot an extra pair of socks after the middle steps in mud at the park or an extra cap for the little after the third grandma at the store comments that her little ears must be cold. I don’t like extra baggage but I really ought to make myself an out-the-door checklist!

3. How awesome and intimate baby wearing is, but how much it hurts your back! Strong trapezius, here I come. Marley doesn’t love the swing (bah!) and has terrible acid reflux, so in general lying down does not make her happy. Upright on my chest though? All day long.

4. What a lifesaver a Wubbanub and a miracle blanket are.

5. How much time it takes to do anything. Everyone’s finally ready to go, but let me fit in a quick nursing session and was that an exploded diaper? Dang it.

6. How sweet they smell (sans exploded diaper), how Marley loves to cuddle in my neck (her favorite spot!) and how cute their little toes are. Oh man, smitten bliss.

Enjoy your beautiful weekend! Life’s always just a wee bit easier with an extra parent in tow (yay for weekends!) even though this Saturday Kevin is demoing our master bedroom and bath. I’m so excited that I’ll happily be a solo mom with three while we all watch from behind the plastic wall.

PS my favorite baby products (including this round up for the first three months).

Guest Posts on Motherhood: Janssen Bradshaw

Welcome back to part 2 of my guest posts on motherhood. I’ve shared a few thoughts on this topic in the past but it’s been really special and unique to hand over the reigns to hear from a few other ladies (who also happen to be mothers of three, or are soon to be). Last week Miranda shared on the art of doing only one thing at a time, deciding where you want to spend that time, and how she’s built a routine around it. I love that.

This week I’ve asked Janssen of Everyday Reading (also a roommate from Alt Summer 2014!) to share about her family. I’ve followed along as Janssen and her family traveled to London last fall while her husband spent a semester studying at London Business School and through her third pregnancy (also welcoming a third little girl in just a few weeks!). For today’s answers, I especially appreciated Janssen’s ‘quiet time’ solution (soo smart, be sure to read the linked post over at her site). And now I’ll hand this post over with many thanks to Janssen for taking the time.

Guest Post: Janssen Bradshaw | Everyday Reading | PepperDesignBlog.com

Tell us a little about your family.

Our family consists of me and my husband Bart, and our two little girls, Ella and Ani. In a few weeks, we’ll be welcoming our third girl into our family, and I’m not sure who is the most excited about it! My husband is an MBA student at Duke University, so we currently live in North Carolina. We spent this past fall living in London while he did a semester at the London Business School and got to squeeze in a lot of traveling around Europe too, which was a dream come true.

Guest Post: Janssen Bradshaw | Everyday Reading | PepperDesignBlog.com

Tell us a little about what you do for a living (creatively, in a corporate environment, as a blogger or other?)

I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I also am the breadwinner for our family while my husband is a student. I blog at Everyday Reading about modern motherhood with a practical spin (no elaborate parties or projects that will take years off your life, but plenty of easy and healthy recipes, simple DIY projects, and great book recommendations) and I also contribute to Disney Baby, Conde Nast Traveler, Penguin Random House, and Cardstore.

Guest Post: Janssen Bradshaw | Everyday Reading | PepperDesignBlog.com

How do you do it all? What does your routine look like? What’s a day in the life of?

I wake up about 45 minutes before my girls do (they get up around 7:15) and work as much as I can until they wake up. This has been a game-changer for me; I’ve never liked waking up early to exercise, but I like my work, so it’s easy for me to get up and pound a few things out before the day really begins. Plus, I just sit in bed to work, so it’s not at all strenuous.

Once my girls get up, we snuggle in bed for a few minutes, then head downstairs to eat some breakfast (usually cold cereal or oatmeal). Then they play while my husband and I get ready for the day and he heads off to school. Usually the girls and I run errands or hang out with friends or get out of the house and then get home for lunch and my girls go down for naps and quiet time.

I work like crazy for those two hours and then when they get up, we hang out at home, usually, reading books on the couch, going to the park or for a walk, or starting on dinner. We have family dinner once my husband gets home and then it’s the mad dash to get my girls in bed by seven.

Any special tips/secrets to making it happen?

I have specific days I do routine tasks so that I don’t have to think about them any other time (Mondays, for instance, I do laundry, start to finish, and I never do it on other days). I don’t want to spend mental energy debating “should I go grocery shopping today?” or letting those tasks leak into multiple days.

Also, being serious about quiet time for my four-year-old has been the best parenting thing we ever did. It’s a sanity saver for me on a daily basis and lets me get the work I need to done even while l stay at home.

And I’ve given up trying to work much at nights. I’m so unproductive at that time and if I’ll let myself off the hook and relax, I can be way more productive during the day because I’m not burnt out, and I feel like I actually give myself time to just enjoy life.

Guest Post: Janssen Bradshaw | Everyday Reading | PepperDesignBlog.com

Is there a favorite project (from your site) that you’d share with us?

I made this giant map print for my office last year, and I am just totally in love with it! Plus, who doesn’t love a chance to use gold sharpies?

Guest Post: Janssen Bradshaw | Everyday Reading | PepperDesignBlog.com

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Thank you so much, Janssen, really happy to have you here today!

PS remember when I regularly hosted Friday Guest Blog Interviews around here? So much good knowledge being shared. I really dig it when bloggers have the opportunity to collaborate and share the love.

Wardrobe Style Board: Winter Finds

Winter Finds Style Board & Inspiration | Creams & Blush | PepperDesignBlog.com

knitted beanie | blush plaid scarf | kid’s metallic flutter dress | pearl trio ring | pearl tassel pendantpencil dress | basics powder palette | rose gold & black watch | wool hat

 There’s something about the neutral palette of creams and blushes (with gold, bronze or brown accents) that feels very natural in the winter. I especially like when they are mixed together! I’m working on a diy version of the tassel necklace and really love the knitted beanie for this winter. That pencil dress too… But it will be a long while before I fit into something like that again!

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