Ezra’s First Birthday – Cake Smash

Wow, the day is finally here. My baby is one. It’s true what they tell you, “the days are long but the years are short”. I’m so sad and so happy at the same time. He is growing to be such a smart spunky little dude. He has such a sweet personality. It’s amazing to see his development, every single day of his life. I notice the smallest things, like the way he waved today looks a little different from the way he waved 2 days ago. Also, things like, he took one extra step today to get to the other side of the couch. They sound so silly and meaningless but they’re not, it’s important to notice these things. I am taking advantage of all the attention I can give him because I know one day my attention will be shared with a sibling and things will be different.

Being one is fun! I’m really excited to start doing more specialized activities with him, now that he is pretty much a toddler  and he can understand a bit better. I can’t wait to see where this year will take us, it should be a wild ride! Hopefully he can learn to sleep longer more consistently through the night. 🙂

Well, here are Ezra’s cake smash photos! I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed putting them together. It was a family affair I might add. My teenage cousin is great with the camera so she took the pictures, while I did the staging. my sister helped with some of the props as well and my friend Linda, who does some AMAZING work! Then of course my hubby and my other cousin helped with getting Ezra’s attention on the camera and keeping the dogs out of the pictures, and last but not least my friend and neighbor Jen helped a few touch up on the pics themselves!!  Good times lol! Thank you to all you took part in making this a great shoot for Ezra and helped us create some fun memories!!

 

PS: Ezra’s cake was made at a Natural health good store near by called Grassroots, who does organic non- gmo cakes for all occasions. I buy all my supplements from there.

Happy Birthday Ezra, momma and dada and Peanut love you!!! <3 To many more!

Ezra wild one 7

#Momlife is the #Bestlife

I can’t believe it has been over 11 month since I’ve had my little one, who by all means is not so little anymore (sad face). It’s so overwhelming to think about all I have gone through this year or I should say in almost one year with my baby. There were so many hard times and amazing times and there still are. I will say I have NO IDEA how single moms do it. It is a major wake up call. I have a whole new outlook on single moms, people with more than two kids, especially so close in age. You ROCK! YOU my friend are a super hero! It is not easy.

I love kids, I always have and I always have been great with kids in general but yes when it’s your kid and they are with you 24/7  (except when I’m working) it is no joke. The sleeping thing, ha! Forget it! I’m not sure when I will ever get sleep again, I have pretty much given up. We have good nights and not so good nights and I will take that but when my baby is not feeling so good and we get a couple nights in a row of not sleeping, I’m pretty much useless. I don’t function properly and I have just learned to accept that. It’s temporary, I remind myself. And it is temporary. All these things are for such a short period of time when you think about it. Your baby will grow up and then they will act like they don’t need you anymore, more independent, no more hugs, no more calling mama for everything and that’s actually sad. 🙁  It makes me sad to think about that so I hug him and kiss him all the time, he actually does get annoyed sometimes and whines but I don’t care, I have to take advantage! lol I encourage all moms to take advantage! Just think about it when the going gets tough, it helps you get through those harder moments.

Anyways, here I am though almost 12 months later, I still have those last 10lbs hanging on for dear life. I don’t get it.  They said that breastfeeding helps you lose weight but I can’t seem to shake it off.  I have no time to work out and if I do have a moment I am tired so I don’t wanna. I eat pretty healthy but I like cake and ice cream. What can I say? At least I was able to button my pre-pregnancy “fat” jeans because I was already heavier when I got preggo. But lets not get carried away, I said I was able to button them, that doesn’t mean they looked good or were comfortable. I guess I will get there some day. I know I will. I don’t care too much, although I should, but I don’t because I want to have another baby rather sooner than later so what’s the point?

By the way, who knew how hard it would be to keep up with this blog! GEEEEZ! I mean I thought it would be easy to just sit down and write. My creative juices are starting to flow a little better these days though so maybe I can do better this time. I hope you all stick around. I feel like this is a lot like a diary for me, to look back on, and I like that I get to you share it with you.

Well stay tuned because I will be doing Ezra’s cake smash photoshoot later this month and then of course the big first birthday planning has begun!!  See you soon!

 

 

 

 

The Breastfeeding Chronicles

 Well, here we are almost 7 months. I remember my husband asking me at about 2 months in, if I was enjoying breastfeeding and I sort of rolled my eyes and said “unfortunately no, I am grateful to be able to do this but it’s uncomfortable and stressful.” I am SO glad I stuck to it because it’s such a breeze now. It’s the easiest thing in the world. I don’t have to worry about carrying formula around or if I have enough, I just whip it out and there you go!

Now, rewind back to the beginning stages, I was in horrible pain, my nipples cracked, they were sore and the cluster feeding was killing me. I mean there were 3 days straight I remember where he was on  my boob for like 12 hours straight. Talk about draining! 😛 Then as things got better, his latch started to get funny so at about 2 months I started to question if he was latching properly. All this talk about, tongue tie and lip tie had me worried. Apparently, he may have an upper lip tie which they say if it’s not getting in the way then don’t do anything about it, the last thing I wanted to do was to have it snipped. Then there was the gas problem. I had to cut out dairy and gluten because I no idea what was causing him horrible gas pains. It was so sad to see him uncomfortable. Once he hit about 3 1/2 months he got much better, the latch was perfect again it was so weird but I was so grateful that things had turned around. I feel like thats when I realized it was worth it, it’s an obstacle for most moms but once you reach that point, it’s amazing. You get to share that moment with your child, just you and him. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I think what made it more difficult in the beginning too was not knowing exactly what you were getting into. For the next baby I will be more knowledgeable, more patient. I think it will be a better over all experience.

Now after all this, here we are almost 7 months, my little guy has his bottom teeth since he was about 4 1/2 months or so and he has already bitten me multiple times. This scared the crap out of me in the beginning especially when he caught me off guard and then I was on edge every time I was nursing him, kind of stressful. I realized he really doesn’t know that he is doing it and he is teething really badly, his tops are almost in so I can tell now, if he is not really hungry and just wants comfort, there is more of a chance he will bite me. So I just pay attention to his cues and I take it from there, it’s working out much better. One his top teeth actually come in that may be another story! Haha!

I know many moms struggle with supply and I am so thankful to be able to have enough to feed my little guy. I am pretty sensitive to most supply boosting remedies such as oats and fenugreek. If I take any of those within hours I breast are full! I have to be careful because it can be quite uncomfortable and I start leaking like crazy. Speaking of leaking, that is one of the most annoying things, having to wear boob pads all the time and apparently wired bras can cause clogged ducts so I wear wireless bras so my boobs also look huge which I’m not a huge fan of either. I’ve had tiny boobs my whole life, I’m like what are these things? What do I do with them? They are constantly in my way! I’m getting used to it though I guess.

Also, this whole pumping while working full time is no joke. It’s time consuming and a big commitment. You mamas that are exclusive pumpers, WHOA! You go girl! I could never! It’s just too much for me. Speaking of pumping, I got the free Medela pump from my insurance which was great in the beginning but I bought the Spectra because I needed something I can charge and bring with me so I can pump in the car and on the go and I LOVE it! Its the best pump ever. It’s a little pricey but if you plan on using it long term its totally worth the investment.

Any who, just happy to say we are more than 1/2 way to our breastfeeding goal of one year! I sure hope we make it, unless he bites my nipple off! Haha! That’s actually not funny. I’ll keep you posted on that one.

Thanks for stopping by!

Joela

My Favorite Stroller

 I love my stroller! It’s definitely one of those things where you know it has to be practical and easy to close and not so heavy but I’m all about the look too. I mean I would LOVE to get a Buggaboo but who can afford that? Definitely not me. Plus my stroller was a shower gift from my aunt and uncle so I’m already grateful I didn’t have to dish out $500. Ummm yea $500….. Before you say that’s crazy don’t forget I said I like the Buggaboo and that thing is like $1,000 so no judging lol.

Here me out. This is the Baby Jogger City Select. If you’re planning on having a second baby you should consider getting something that turns into a double stroller from the get go. I feel like most people will buy a regular $200 stroller and then have a second baby and dish out another $200-$300 for double, sometimes even more. So why not get one that turns into a double from the beginning and it’s $500 so it’s costing about the same and it’s awesome looking and really great quality!  My other thing was that I usually don’t like the side by side doubles strollers because they’re too wide so this one is not side by side. Take a look below: (Note: This is a factory picture) So the infant car seat is on the top and the regular stroller seat on the bottom. When the baby gets big enough for the regular stroller seat you can just snap it on the stop instead of the car seat and you can actually face it inwards too so the kids face each other. 🙂

babyjogger

The  infant car seat,does have an adapter that you have to buy separately that lets the Britax B-Safe car seat click into it. Easy peasy! Works great for twins too because you can use two infant car seats at same time. It customizable.

Here is another picture of a bunch of ways you can use this stroller. See below….

babyjogger 2

There’s a lot of space for shopping storage or bag storage on the bottom as well and the handle is adjustable for height. It’s super easy to fold but it is a little on the heavy side but if you’re used to lugging around an infant car seat then it should be no problem! Oh and it takes up your whole trunk.

No matter what stroller you end up going with, make sure you go to the store first and try it for height and comfort and make sure you AND your partner are able to fold it close with ease because not all strollers are equal and some are more difficult than others. If you are going to struggle every time you are trying to put it in your trunk then its probably not a good idea.


Well here are some links that you may find helpful. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Where to buy:http://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/baby-jogger-reg-city-select-reg-deluxe-single-stroller-in-charcoal/3249489?Keyword=baby+jogger+city+select

NOTE: You can use a 20% coupon if you buy any of these items from Buy Buy Baby! Also – the stroller comes in many different colors. 🙂

YouTube demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neKIQecvdGY

Car seat adapter:http://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/baby-jogger-reg-city-select-versa-stroller-adaptor-for-britax-b-safe-chaperone-infant-car-seats/1043659784

Car seat: http://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/britax-b-safe-35-elite-xe-2016-infant-car-seat-in-vibe/1045319686?Keyword=britx+b+safe

Extra stroller seat: http://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/baby-jogger-reg-city-select-reg-black-frame-second-seat-kit-in-charcoal/1042074014?Keyword=baby+jogger+city+select+seat

Bassinet: http://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/baby-jogger-reg-city-select-reg-bassinet-kit-in-black/1042074021?Keyword=baby+jogger+city+select+seat

Update: New Hair Product – L’Oreal Profiber

  Ok – so here is an update on how my hair is doing…..in one word….. AMAZING! I cannot rave about this enough. I would just like to add that I am not being endorsed by anyone but this is a true testimony and review of this product. I am truly amazed by the results. I will admit this does go against my crunchy ways, because you know I am the “coconut oil fixes everything” kind of girl but I was in need of some major help.

My hair immediately stopped falling out in clumps. I would say I have normal hair loss and breakage now. Before, I used to have hair all over my clothes through out the day and now I do not. If I were to just touch my hair through out the day, I would pull out a ton of hair and now that does now happen either. So again, if you are having hair loss for whatever reason, for me it was post pregnancy hair loss, I would suggest using this L’Oreal Profiber line. I use it once a week (because I only wash my hair once a week), shampoo, conditioner, mask and leave in treatment. Once a month there is a Recovery treatment but I will be going into the salon for it but you can do it at home.

I just want to send a huge shout out to my salon Xchanges Hair Artistry, for telling me about this. 🙂 AND if you’re in NJ and you need a great salon, here you go. You will not regret it. 🙂

Hope this helps some of you, if you’ve tried it too, I’d love to hear some of your experiences as well. 

  

Post Baby Hair Problems

I’m sure I’m not the only one freaking out right now about losing massive amounts of hair. My hair dresser warned me. She said at about 4 months my hair would start falling out and last up to about 8 month post partum. Well, she was right on the money. As soon as my son turned 4 months, I washed my hair that week and when I tell you clumps of hair were falling out, I am not exaggerating. In the shower, afterwards when I was brushing and even when I was blow drying it, it just kept on falling. Again, not an exaggeration, but so you know, half of my hair fell out that day alone. When I was pregnant not one strand of hair fell off my head. It was getting thicker and thicker by the week and actually really unmanageable. I couldn’t deal with it, it was too thick, it would take forever to blow dry. Now, every single hair that didn’t fall off then, fell off now. Well the good thing is, my salon got this new treatment in by L’Oreal called Pro Fiber and I went in and got it done and then bought the whole system to do at home (Learn more about it  HERE). It comes with Shampoo, conditioner, mask, treatment and something called recovery. It’s AMAZING. My hair feels like silk and I have been losing only a couple of strands a day, unlike before it was like 10 strands every time I touched my hair.

I wanted to tell you about this and how it’s working for me so I will be updating you with how it’s going and if it continues to work for me.

Oh! And If you live in NJ, please check out my salon, it is the BEST! You won’t be disappointed! They are called Xchanges and they are in Kenilworth, NJ.

Here’s a picture of my thick crazy shaggy hair before the treatment. (Oh i forgot to mention, i my hair was also getting extremely knotted and so it was breaking too and Ezra pulls some out every now and then)

   

And I didn’t take an after picture right away but here is one of this weekend about 3 days into the treatment, still looking silky smooth!

    

I will update you in a couple of weeks on how its been doing. I’ll do my first was this weekend. For those of you who don’t know, I only was my hair once a week. 🙂

I will try to post more often. It’s been a lot harder than what I thought to post even weekly. Mom life equals crazy life but it’s truly the best. <3 Talk to you soon!

 

Baby Lovin’

As I sit here pumping at work, I decided I am going to start blogging again. Its been quite a while since my last post in September. Baby Ezra turned 3 months last week, I can’t believe it! My little boy is growing so fast! I will say it’s been pretty difficult to get on a schedule and sort of get my life back. I think this is normal in the first few years. That’s right, I said YEARS. 🙂
I always said I didn’t want to be one of those parents that didn’t do anything anymore or go anywhere because of there kids, I mean why don’t you just bring them? Well, I know why, because some babies (ahem, Ezra) don’t like the car seat. Plain and simple. I have been trying to take him places but it’s not always easy or enjoyable sometimes. He hates the car seat and he hates the stroller because he’s in the car seat that attaches to the stroller. I am most thankful for my Moby Wrap! If I didn’t have that thing, I don’t know what I would do!

Baby wearing seems like this new phenomenon, people will say ” I wish we had that when my kids were little” but its been around for hundreds of years. People have always worn their babies, it’s actually pretty natural to do so. The hardest part is just finding which carrier suits you best. Sometimes you even need more than 1 for different things, activities, or different stages. I have the Moby, Ergo, and Seven Sling. I am currently waiting on a used Ring Sling. I love it! It has saved me so many times! I definitely recommend it AND the cool part is there are so many support groups out there especially on FB. Such as Baby Wearers of NJ, Baby Wearers of Northern Jersey, Baby Wearers of Morris County. I am sure there are some in other states too or even national ones. Luckily in my Mother Care Class provided through the Midwives of NJ we were able to have a baby wearing class as well, which was a great help! Some of those instructions they come with are not always easy to follow so sometimes you need that extra help from a friend or Youtube!

I didn’t actually mean to write about baby wearing today, I just wanted to give an update on how things have been so I guess its a bonus topic!

Otherwise, things have been much better. Ezra finally fell into a napping schedule a few weeks ago, which has really helped, unless of course we are out with him and then it just messes everything up which goes back to not taking your baby anywhere. I have heard of people not taking there baby anywhere during and nap or bed times. That’s nuts, I don’t think I will be able to do that but I can totally understand why.

 

Life is much harder these days but also more joyful! Being mom is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me but also the most difficult thing you can go through. It is utterly exhausting and chaotic at times but when you look into you little baby’s eye, it’s just all worth it. I would climb a mountain for my boy. He is my everything and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Holiday season, which is also so much better when you have kids! <3 Here are some pictures from Ezra’s Christmas shoot. I did them myself, hope you like them! 🙂

Ezras First Christmas 13.jpg

My Birth Story

Ezra Dos Santos Membreno was born on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 3:28pm and he weighed in at 7.6lbs and was 19 inches long.

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On the morning of September 2nd at about 7:45am I was awakened by a strange feeling I felt in my belly. It was like I heard something pop. I am still not sure if it was my imagination but I felt a jolt at the same time. I figured the baby kicked me in a weird spot. So I got up and started making my way to the bathroom and felt water dripping down my leg. I was worried about not knowing if my water broke but they say you KNOW and I definitely knew my water broke because I knew I wasn’t peeing myself.  At that point, I called my Midwives to let them know. They told me to just sit tight and touch base later, and to keep them posted.
I wasn’t feeling any pain or contractions until about 9:30am. I actually started getting cramps on my lower back and I didn’t know they were contractions until I realized they were coming and going in a pattern every 6 minutes. At about 10:30am everything changed like night and day. The contractions got closer, 3-4 minutes and then within 1/2 hour 2-3 minutes apart. My midwives told me to get in the tub at home until she would meet me at the hospital since she was a little further away. That way it would give her time to get to Morristown which is 10 minutes from my house.Unfortunately, within 15 minutes of her telling me to get in the tub, I had the “bloody show” and I felt like pushing so she told me to just go straight to the hospital immediately.
Then, labor begins…..
So we did. It was the worst car ride of my life. We were only 10 minutes away from the hospital and my husband ran all the red lights and it seemed like it took forever. I got there at about noon and I was already pre- registered and the midwives had called and said I was on the way so they just rolled me right into the tub room and started monitoring me. At this point I was completely out of it, screaming in pain. I was 6cm dilated and fully dilated within 20 minutes, so the pushing began. My midwife got there and we started.
As you know, I was planning a water birth and needless to say, I didn’t have a water birth. I was too far along and in extreme back labor because the baby was posterior so every single position I tried, I was in excruciating pain. Also, the baby had to be monitored the whole time because his heart rate kept dropping since he was in my pelvis for so long. They had to give me an IV because I was extremely dehydrated (you can’t really drink when you’re in that much pain.) At this point the thoughts going through my head were….”Is it too late for a c-section, maybe that would have been less pain?” I am deathly afraid of surgery so the fact that I was thinking that was a better option can give you some idea of the pain I was in. Also, the whole time I kept saying, ” now I know why people want drugs, I understand now”…..I was completely delirious and whiney. I was weak. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life.
I pushed for about 2 1/2 hours. My uterus was contracting and they were painful, but my uterus wasn’t moving the baby down. I was working too hard and my uterus wasn’t. They had to give me a couple of drops of PIT so it could help me push him out. Within 1/2 hour, lots of pain, and an episiotomy later, my baby boy was born. Unfortunately, I had to have the episiotomy because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his head to she had to pull his head out and unwrap it. Needless to say that sh*** hurt!
At that very moment though, the oxytocin took over my body, nothing else mattered but my little baby, they laid him on top of me and we began our bond, skin to skin, tears rolling down my face of joy and relief. I wondered to myself if I could ever do that again. It was intense, the whole experience. I pretty proud though, that I did it natural and even though it was insanely painful, I wouldn’t have changed anything.
I don’t know what I would have done without my husband there and without my midwives. They were the best coaches and care providers I could have chosen. Also – the hospital staff from Morristown Memorial were amazing as well.
They say the first one is always the hardest, so I hope that is true because I definitely want to have another baby and after that experience I wasn’t so sure I could go through with it. But it was pretty encouraging to hear that the 2nd is easier. I guess I will find out when that time comes.
Recovery
Needless to say, my recovery is going well and nothing else matters right now except my sweet little baby boy. The first 3-4 days were the worst and it gets better everyday but it’s definitely a challenge, especially breast feeding. Its so natural but so hard to keep up with. I’d like to breast feed as long as possible so I will do my everything to make it work. I understand why many people choose to supplement with formula or just do formula though. In today’s society with all the things we have going on, its really hard to just hunker down and just nurse your baby, all day, everyday for weeks until you establish your supply. Well, you know me! I always like a good challenge, especially if it has great benefits. Challenge accepted! Let’s eat! Well, Ezra can eat, and I can just watch and starve because breastfeeding makes you super hungry and you can’t get up to eat anything at times. 🙂
A couple other things about  my recovery: I am taking my placenta pills. Yup thats right, I got my placenta turned into pills. I think they’re actually working pretty well. I feel more energy and a boost in my mood. Its supposed to be really great for post-partum recovery. It’s really important to also continue taking your vitamins for you and the baby because all that gets transferred over through breast milk and also trying to eat healthy of course, with an occasional treat! :-p
Everything else will fall into place. I look forward to my journey through motherhood. It’s exciting and scary at first, but we are nurturers  and our motherly instincts get us through the tough times. Good luck to all the new mommies out there! I know you’re sleep deprived and exhausted like me, but we are strong and we can do it for our babies! <3

 

Baby Ezra’s Nursery Reveal

As promised, today I present to you baby Ezra’s nursery! 🙂 YAY!!

I’m so excited to share it with you. I decided to do a gender neutral nursery because why not?! Gray and yellow have become my favorite for my baby boy but I must say the yellow accents were not the easiest to find. Well Ezra will be here soon and even though he will spend the first couple of months in our bed room sleeping in his pack n’play, I wanted to have his room all ready! Well, mostly ready anyway. There are some minor things missing like the mobile and some picture frames and maybe even a book shelf, but I will just add those later. 🙂

Thanks for checking out his nursery! See all the details below…. OH! And one more thing, Peanut wanted to be a part of the shoot. 🙂

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Details:

Crib: http://www.hayneedle.com/product/simmons-kids-hollywood-3-in-1-convertible-crib.cfm

Changing Tablehttp://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Altra-Emerson-Baby-Changing-Table-by-Cosco/9407704/product.html?refccid=4J4YS35V6QIYRFCIHIYI35A5M4&searchidx=66

Bedding: Most of the bedding was from Zulily so it is not currently available but I also got these from Buy Buy Baby —–>http://www.buybuybaby.com/store/product/tl-care-reg-cotton-percale-crib-sheet-in-golden-yellow-twill-gotcha/1042252788?Keyword=yellow+crib+sheet

Rug: http://www.target.com/p/circo-stars-rug/-/A-16711886#prodSlot=medium_1_2&term=star+rug

Glider: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L40QBYE?colid=E2PEVMJ0TEWE&coliid=I24COJ8GUOVAZS&redirect=true&ref_=br_it_dp_o_nS_ttl&vs=1

Art work: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I82V1UA?colid=E2PEVMJ0TEWE&coliid=IXZ8CEPOHYPWO&redirect=true&ref_=br_it_dp_o_nS_ttl&vs=1

Most of the other stuff I gathered from Homegoods, Ikea, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon and Hobby Lobby and of course I had some custom stuff like the “E” was made by my sister and I and then the lamp was custom by my friend Linda! (she will have an Etsy store soon) If there’s anything specific you would like to know about please contact me, leave a comment and I’ll gladly respond! 🙂