Back on YouTube

It feels like I’m at a bit of a turning point right now. I’m not pregnant anymore, I’m five weeks out in my postpartum recovery. The baby is starting to sleep a bit better and be a bit more awake and alert during the day. We are also hitting a full year into this pandemic, vaccines are finally rolling out and it feels like there will eventually be an end to all of the isolation we’ve all been going through. Winter is coming to a close and Spring is in the air and the sun is shining longer and longer each day. And so, I feel my head clearing and my energy returning and the first thing I have done is turn on my camera and film a video!

I love YouTube and have felt so disconnected from everything and everyone that goes along with maintaining a YouTube channel. It has been so hard to have anything to say these past months because I have just been sitting in my house, in a pregnant body, under a pile of children. I have made a little update video and I’m happy to be back to more regularly publishing content there, and here on this blog.


Postpartum Must Haves

Welcome back! (to you and to me) I just had a BABY!

Edgar, three days old

Our family of four just turned into a wild party of five with the addition of Baby Edgar at the end of January. I have heard that the jump from two to three is a big one and so far we are managing well, but some things are definitely feeling like A LOT. (ahem, laundry) I think I have to give it some more time before I make any real judgments about that.

*Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you click them, any purchases made may earn me a small commission that does not affect the cost to you. Clicking is always your choice.

What I want to talk about here is Postpartum Self Care. I think having pushed THREE babies (each bigger than the last) out of my body I am officially experienced enough to give some advice on what is helpful to have on hand to support postpartum healing. Whether you are about to have your first baby or your third, I’ve got you pretty well covered with this list. And don’t feel bad if this isn’t your first time but you are feeling lost. I was researching what I already knew before this baby came because I was afraid I had forgotten!

  • Pads that don’t stick to stitches – This is essential. I had two tears with each of my first two babies and one teeny little one with my third. I got stitches for all of them and let me tell you, you do not need stitches getting stuck to the weird netting that some pads have on them. Seventh Generation pads are great and are basically the same as what my hospital provided so I have used them at home all three times, especially in the beginning while I waited for the stitches to dissolve.
  • Overnight pads – This could depend on your body but for me, having some super gigantic overnight pads for the early days at home have been a lifesaver. I never seem to need that many of them because after a few days the bleeding seems to taper off a bit but don’t throw them out because when your period eventually returns you might want the extra protection for the first few times. Things can be a bit wonky, especially if you are still breastfeeding.
  • Witch hazel or Tucks wipes – Tucks wipes, or just squirting some plain old witch hazel onto some toilet paper can make things feel a lot better down there. It’s great for soothing hemorrhoids and keeping stitches clean. You can even just put a bunch on a pad and use it like a cold compress on your sore and swollen bits.
  • Peri bottle – Most likely you will get one of these in the hospital (at least in the U.S.) and you are allowed to take that home with you. That is what I did for the first two babies. But this time I bought one with an angled nozzle and it is LIFE CHANGING. The bottle is a bit bigger and you can actually get the water to squirt where you want it. You can’t wipe if you have stitches and you don’t want to wipe if you have hemorrhoids, and really, even if you escape without either of those issues you will still have a lot of swelling and wiping is not great at first. You squirt to clean and then dab with toilet paper to dry.
  • Nipple balm – The Earth Mama nipple balm smells really good and it doesn’t stain your clothes like lanolin sometimes does.
  • Nursing pads – Your milk is going to come in and then it is going to come out. Make sure you change these throughout the day so you aren’t just sitting with gross milk on you all day.
  • Haaka breast pump – I love the Haaka for catching milk in the first few weeks before I really start pumping and for actually pumping later on. This time I discovered they make a cover, which is really great when I catch some milk in the middle of the night but don’t want to go downstairs to pour it into a bag or bottle. I also use a Medela pump – If you are in the U.S. remember you get a free breast pump for every live birth you have. (Thank you, Affordable Care Act!) If you want a fancier one than the free one your insurance will cover you can still get a discount. Ask at the hospital. Ours works with a company that delivers to the hospital daily so you call when the baby is born and you get your pump delivered to your room before you go home. If you need help setting it up, ask a nurse or lactation consultant while you are there!
  • Breastmilk storage bags – I like the Lansinoh bags. I have no reason other than a friend recommended them to me with my first baby and I have just used that kind ever since.
  • Bin for the freezer – I freeze bags of milk flat then file them standing up in a bin with the oldest ones in front.
  • Big water bottle – Whether you are breastfeeding or not you need to rehydrate after giving birth. If you ARE breastfeeding you really need to hydrate so get yourself a giant water bottle that you don’t have to fill up constantly, make sure you can open and close it with one hand, and keep it with you all day. I just got a 40oz bottle from Simple Modern and I love it.
  • Moisturizer – You wash your hands constantly because of all the diapering, the million trips to the bathroom, the baby spits up on you and you wash your hands again. I just use the same belly butter I had during pregnancy and I try to keep my hands from cracking. It doesn’t help that two of my babies were born in the winter.

Shoe Storage For A Small Apartment

Anyone else have almost zero space for shoe storage, but just can’t seem to get down to a minimalist level collection of three pairs of shoes? I just bought these Drop Front Shoe Boxes from The Container Store and my closet floor has been transformed for the better.

*Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you click them, any purchases made may earn me a small commission that does not affect the cost to you. Clicking is always your choice.

I have tried a lot of different shoe storage options in the past. I’ve used an over the door hanging shoe organizer, which was fine until our kids learned how to slam doors. I’ve tried to keep shoes neat under a bench in our entryway but the cat loves to climb under there and then I’d have furry shoes. That strategy also led to a messy living room because our entry way is not so much an actual space but more like one of the four walls of our living room. Recently I had my shoes stacked (piled up) on a small bookshelf I stuffed in a corner of my bedroom. But that was hard to access and also, those kids, if things are easy access they will absolutely access them easily.

These Drop Front Shoe Boxes are clean looking, keep my shoes dust-free, and the kids can’t really open them because they have a latch you have to pinch to open. All of my shoes are in one place and my closet floor makes me feel like The Home Edit just came over and put it together for me.


Summer Clothes for the Kids

I have been doing my fair share of online shopping during while stuck at home during this pandemic. I got myself some spring/summer clothes, I got a couple of pairs of shoes, I bought a new phone case (which I have to return because I got the wrong one and it doesn’t fit my phone…) But it hasn’t all been for me. I’m still a mom and my child just keeps on growing, as children do. I got him just about an entire summer wardrobe from Next, Old Navy and H&M and let me tell you, everything is just so, so cute. My absolute favorite purchases were these sun-safe hats for both kids. It is just way too adorable to see them running around in these.


My Quarantine Birthday

blowing out birthday candles

Have you had a Quarantine Birthday yet? I just had mine last weekend. It wasn’t as sad and boring as I thought it would be. My mother made me a birthday cake and dropped it off at my door. Later my family all got on a zoom call to sing Happy Birthday and watch me eat the cake. The kids sang to me so many time during the day and my three-year-old requested lit candles to blow out every single time we at the cake (over the next few days). Honestly, it was low key and perfect.


Three Things I Love About: Sundays

This is part of my “Three Thing I Love About” series.

Sunday mornings in our house are a time to relax and recharge. Even in the midst of the pandemic lockdown we are all in, Sundays are still very much a day off in our house.

1. Coffee!

OK coffee is obviously a part of every morning, not just Sundays. However, on Sundays I can usually drag out the coffee drinking all morning and actually enjoy it because I’m not multi-tasking as much. It’s just pajamas, kids’ toys and a cup of coffee.

2. No Cleaning

Raise your hand if you think cleaning is the worst. (My hand is highest.) I want to live in a clean space but I do not actually want to do the work to make the space clean. My cleaning routine is to do most of it during the week, a little each day, and then do just about nothing on the weekends.

3. Yummy Food

Sundays are usually pancake day or at the very least, a hot breakfast. The whole family is at the table eating the same thing at the same time and most of the time we don’t have any screens going. During the week we sometimes have books being read online, or a video call with Grandma, but on Sundays it’s a table full of pancakes and toppings and we just eat.

Another thing about Sundays is that my husband has been doing a lot of pretty intense cooking lately. He has joked that his midlife crisis is becoming an amateur chef and that I’m benefiting. I totally am. He made me some elaborate and delicious ramen for my birthday and he has been making lots of vegetable stock, whole roasted chickens and pickled onions.