pregnancy, post birth + baby must haves.

There is always a word on the street — always people giving their opinion on what product is good and what you need for every season of your life.  I really appreciate recommendations and reviews because it helps me make a decision.  Well, the word on my street is that the following is my personal running list of must haves for pregnancy and post-birth.  I relied or am currently relying heavily upon all of them:

Pregnancy Must-Haves:

  • red raspberry tea or Mama’s Red Raspberry Brew – I purchased my organic tea in bulk from Bulk Herb Store — it’s something both Greg and I enjoy drinking before bedtime — here are the benefits of red raspberry tea
  • calcium pills
  • DHA pills
  • wheat germ
  • evening primrose oil
  • belly salve – I use Mama Bee Belly Butter
  • rice sock – handmade in my Bradley Method Class
  • yogurt – Greek yogurt especially is high in protein

Post-Birth Must-Haves:

for breastfeeding:

  • Mama’s Milk Tea – if you plan on breastfeeding, this is a tea that helps in the production of milk — purchased in bulk from Bulk Herb Store
  • oatmeal – oatmeal also helps in the production of milk
  • cloth breast pads – as a nursing mom, I went through so many disposable pads, that I ended up investing in cloth pads or you can make your own
  • Medela nursing stool – this is one of those items that worked out so well for me! it was sooo very helpful with nursing a baby!
  • Boppy nursing pillow – this time around I made sure to have 2 — one for home, and one for the car
  • breast pump
  • Maternity nursing bra – unlined, cotton, soft, so easy

for a comfortable baby:

  • pacifier – I know some moms have a problem with pacifiers, but this was so helpful at calming baby and putting her to sleep — after 4-5 months she weaned herself off it
  • warm mist humidifier – great for fall + winter months when babies’ noses get too dry
  • Aden + Anais OR Luna Lullaby Blankets – these are GREAT swaddle blankets; now that I’ve been using these, the typical sized receiving blankets seem worthless to me — for some reason I’ve noticed the Target brand of Aden + Anais are made of a better quality than the regular Aden + Anais blankets
  • kimono onsies + tops – love my kimono onsies from Kate Quinn Organics and Nature Baby
  • changing table – as a recommendation from my cousin, I got my Pottery Barn changing table off Craigslist — I LOVE it!  It’s been my most used and loved baby must-have
  • changing pad covers – along with a changing table, I LOVE my quilted covers from Land of Nod — I would never go back to any other cover!
  • a soft, smooth diaper rash ointment – cooling – Burt’s Bees Diaper Ointment
  • pre-bath oil – Burt’s Bees Apricot Oil or jojoba oil
  • baby sling and/or baby carrier – we love the Ergo carrier

What is something that you recommend as a must-have for pregnant women, new mommies, or baby?  I would love to hear!

35 weeks pregnant with twins.

Only a few more weeks before we see 2 of everything — for the rest of our lives.

Today marks my 35th week of pregnancy, and I can truly say I’m so ready to meet these little guys.  While I’m SUPER excited to be a mom of twin boys, I’m also intimidated at the thought of how my life will change taking care of two babies in addition to a toddler, and how I’ll ever love them as much as I love Dhara.  How can that much of me go around, and go around thoroughly?  I hear this is a question most moms wonder when pregnant with their second child.  But it’s truly a valid question, and one I am anxious to find the answer to.

As of now, I’m having to go into the city for monitoring and ultrasounds twice a week!  This weeks’ monitoring proved that one twin sleeps while the other takes the night watch — they aren’t usually awake together.  Position-wise, Baby A is breech, and Baby B is transverse — if they decide to stay in these positions I am quite certainly a candidate for a c-section between 37-38 weeks.  I’m coming to terms with this if it’s what needs to happen, but I’m still praying for a miracle!

In other baby news…  We get the question quite often, “So have you picked out names???”  Sadly we have to tell those folks that the boys’ names are a secret until their birth — it’s more fun that way.  Though one thing you can be sure of is — our names don’t rhyme — no matter how much my grandma would like them to.  : )

My sweetie-pie grandma also tends to think twins should always dress identically.  I was initially super against this notion of dressing twins identically because I’m a real proponent of having one’s own identity and being your own person.  BUT, as I’ve shopped around for boys clothes these past few months I’ve found that I can’t just buy one really cute outfit because the other twin would need to look equally as cute.  : )  SOOO, on occasion you will find my twins wearing identical outfits or outfits that are identical but in different colors.  Speaking of boys clothes, I’ve finally discovered I love little boys in cardigans and I love stripes!  The options for cute boys clothes are so limited because most come adorned with little funny characters or cars, trucks, and dinosaurs.  Good thing there are still stripes!  And leather suspenders are definitely a plus.  ; )

Also, we are officially owners of a mini van!  Never wanted to be the mom driving a mini van — we wanted something more like a Suburban — but after driving the van for a few weeks now, I can vouch that it’s a very, very comfortable ride.  Plus, I can’t imagine toting 2 carseats back and forth from a Suburban — can you?

As these last couple weeks come to a close, I still have to wash baby clothes and cloth diapers, hang the swinging bassinet cradle, possibly find a king bed on craigslist, steam clean our bedroom carpet, and pack my bags.  Crazy that two will be joining us in no time at all…but oh so exciting!

baby gear hopefuls.

Over the last two years that I’ve been a mama, I’ve become a pretty big fan of baby products.  With a bazillion products out there, I love researching and finding things that make life easier, is comfortable for baby, and of course, look nice at the same time.  Sometimes I get really optimistic about a product only to find it’s not worth the money.  But then sometimes I end up loving a product so much that I just can’t say enough about it.

As the day of the twins draws closer, I’ve been on the search for some specific items that we’ll be needing.  I’ve compiled a short list of 5 products that I’m really excited to begin using, and I’m hoping to do a review on each one once I’ve used them for a bit.  I love reading/watching product reviews, so hopefully my findings may be helpful to someone.  Yay or nay — we’ll see!  Here’s my list:

Bumbleride Indie Twin:

I never thought I’d be the one with the double stroller!  So when we found out we were having twins, I began the search for the dreaded beast of a double stroller that would be good for our lifestyle.  First and foremost, I want a side by side stroller.  I don’t like having one child not being able to see past the other child’s head.  Some other things that I needed in a stroller — the ability to accommodate 2 car seats simultaneously, a BIG basket for storing diaper bag/misc items, seats that fully recline, narrow enough to fit through doorways, a cup holder for moi, and a stroller that looks more modern than the outdated double strollers out there.

The Indie Twin fulfilled all my requirements — EXCEPT the price tag ($700) — so began our search on Craigslist.  We ended up driving to New Jersey to purchase a brand new Indie Twin from a mom of twins for a much better price than retail. Sweet deal.  I love Craigslist!  She ended up being soooo nice.  She included additional accessories that wouldn’t normally come with the stroller.  This is one of those purchases that I’m feeling really optimistic about — so I pray that this stroller be good to us!  Thanks to Papa and Granmummy (my grandparents) who gifted this to us!

Hanging Cradle/Swing:

I initially registered for a Papasan Swing even though the very thought of it in my room irritated me.  While it may work great, it’s an awkward piece of equipment, and really not that pretty!  But I figured with two little babies to take care of, I would be in need of something to entertain/console one baby if I’m busy with the other baby, and vice versa.

After seeing the Papasan Swing, my mom wasn’t too enthused either.  She recommended a bassinet swing — which is what she used for her own three kids. She thinks it’s better for baby to lay flat, rather than lay in a semi-sitting position. Unfortunately, these types of swings have been taken off the market for some reason — there are not many like the one she used.  So we searched high and low and came across various hanging baby cradles/hammocks — a product used all around the world except in the USA!  I wonder why?

Anyway, my mom and I settled on this one from Nordic Bliss, a shop based out of England.  The young couple who own the shop are Scandinavian and love all things from the Nordic countries, so they started a shop that sells house wares and textiles from all over Scandinavia.  This particular hanging cradle hangs from the ceiling and swings — our bedroom ceiling is about 13 feet high, so this should be interesting.  Plus, I think it’s the most adorable thing ever!  Thanks to my awesome mom who purchased this cradle as a gift to the twins!  Thanks Mommy!

Lulu Wrap:

I love baby wearing.  I remember the first time I wore a baby — my cousin’s eldest daughter, Anna.  We were at the mall on a shopping excursion and wearing a baby just felt right.

Here is a post on the various slings/carriers I used with Dhara.  I ended up selling my Maya Wrap and Puj Sling on Craigslist because I wanted to try a stretch wrap.  I went with the Lulu Wrap — which is most similar to the Moby Wrap.  Here is a video demonstrating one, among many, holding methods with the Lulu.  I messaged the stay-at-home mama/designer, Elle Rowley, asking her how the Lulu is different from the Moby, and she said it’s “less bulky, lighter weight, more breathable, they come in nicer colors, no tacky labeling, and are handmade!”  I think the handmade sold me.  : )

I’m still on the search for a woven wrap — my most favorite being the Ellevill Zara Wrap (here and here) and the Didymos Wrap — but ouch, those price tags are scary!  But aren’t they beautiful?!

Puj Tub:

From the makers of the Puj Sling, here is the Puj Tub!  I’m really excited to use this tub for some reason.  I just remember bathing Dhara in the basic plastic tub we got when she was an infant and it being an uncomfortable experience for her.  The Puj Tub looks so comfy.  Here is a video demonstration of the Puj Tub in action.  Looks like a cozy bathing experience to me!

Life Factory Glass Bottles:

I’m such a sucker for glass bottles.  When I had Dhara, I purchased the Medela Glass Bottles — and while I loved the shape and make of them, they always leaked! I’ve heard rave reviews about Life Factory Bottles, so I found a great deal on them and invested in 8 bottles.  The nice thing about these bottles is that they are compatible with my Medela Breast Pump, they’re adorable, and lastly, they are made of a thermal shock resistant glass which prevents breakage when put in the freezer, to boiling water, to even falling on the ground.