Fabulous Favorites

Quite a few people emailed me after seeing Piper’s photo in Saturday’s post, for the bouncer chair and blanket info in the photo.  I LOVE both if these!!

The chair is the BABYBJÖRN BabySitter Balance. I’ve had a number of bouncy chairs and this is BY FAR my favorite! A good friend passed it down to us and I couldn’t be more thankful!

The blanket is a Aden & Anais Muslin Swaddling Blanket I really, really love these!  They are HUGE and fabulous for swaddling.  My kids have always been long and tend to kick themselves out of most of the regular size swaddle blankets.  They push their feet and are able to get their arms loose.  Not great for sleeping once a stray baby arm starts flying around!!  These are big enough to swaddle them snug and comfy, but plenty of leg room!  They are also a great all purpose blanket for shade over a stroller, laying on the ground at a park, or the carpet at a grandma’s house.  And a great layering blanket, tucking a heavier, super soft blanket into a car seat, etc. and LOADS of cute patterns.  I have a least a dozen that we have been given over the life of all 3 babies.  FAVORITE blankets for sure!!!

Hope they become favorites for you too!

contented baby = contented mommy

People ask me all the time about what I can’t live without for the babies.  And I’m not really sure that there are just a couple…that’s why I have the Baby Favorites Gallery.  But there are definitely a few things that my sleep deprived brain is so thankful for!

Gina Ford is my hero.  She wrote a series of books starting with The Contented Little Baby: The Simple Secrets of Calm, Confident Parenting.  When we had our first baby, I thought I knew it all.  I mean I had been babysitting since I was 9, and was a nanny in college for a 10 week old baby and grew with his family until they had 3 boys.  Surely I could handle my own little bundle of love???

Laugh with me moms!

My husband has said that our third baby is by far the easiest (at her ripe old age of 7 weeks) but I explained to him, it’s really only because she is chartered territory to us now.

With Addie I went crazy on Amazon, read all the books they say to read and still really couldn’t get a handle of what to do. I mean I could do the basics, but there really are soooo many “what ifs”.  Is it ok to just gave her a binky at night, what if she REALLY IS hungry 15 minutes early??  Add to this the unpredictable nature of kids (with my scheduled nature) and I was having quite a few sleepness days and nights.  This is where my FANTABULOUS friend and college roommate (Co-Creator of Juliska, Rockstar Mommy to 3 little girls, traveling the world making it a more beautiful place one place setting at a time) comes in.

This is a mom that has it soooo together, that when she called and told me ” You NEED The Contented Little Baby, I swear by it, and so does every person I’ve ever given it to”.  I ordered it the moment we got off the phone.

And she was right.

It’s a little old school, English Nanny style (but hey, The Super Nanny can get it done, so why not).  I loved that it gave me a schedule to follow, and case studies of babies that all varied slightly that she had worked with.  That the schedule is good for breast feeding (my sister in law liked that it reminded her to eat and drink water at certain times) and formula feeding (me) moms.  It gave me goals to work towards for sleeping and eating for Addie, that ultimately had her through the night at 10 weeks.  I will admit that Hayden was a little tougher, it took me closer to 4 months but that had more to do with an eating issue she had.  The DAY we moved her to a better formula, she fell into the schedule.  Piper has been right on track since day one, and as of last night woke up at 4AM to eat, and then not again until 7AM this morning.

Every mom needs to find what works best for them, but I truly don’t know what I would have done without the series.  Even now, I still refer back to the books in making adjustments to eating and sleep schedules.  At the moment I’m reading The Contented Baby with Toddler Book and loving it just as much!  I also quite frequently refer to The Complete Sleep Guide for Contented Babies & Toddlers

Biggest tip I can give you is to find something that makes you comfortable at being a mom.  These books worked exceptionally well for me and our family, BY FAR FAVORITES for me. (and my husband!)  You may not feel the same, and that’s ok.  The important thing is to find what works for you and your family (and keeps you sane in the process!)

Best of luck!

BEST gift for a new mother, 2nd mother, any mother!

Our family was given an AMAZING gift from so many of our friends!  One Fab Friend in particular offered to organize a few dinners for us for after Piper was born.  I loved the idea, but didn’t really think we would need THAT many dinners!  Maybe a couple weeks worth at the most.

HAAAAAA, HAAAAAA, HAAAAAAAAAAA! I was sooo clueless!  As my sweet Fab Friend’s email to everyone said,

Baby Coady #3 is only a month away and as many of you know 2 babies = HARD….3 babies = CRAZY MIND NUMBING HARD!”

Oh she had no idea how right on she was!

Truthfully, Piper is an AWESOME baby, very sweet and content…now into week 4, I still feel like we are in the “honeymoon phase” of a new baby.  However, we have had 2 other babes that have been sick with 2 different colds, and have only wanted “mama” since my return from the hospital (they used to go to ANYONE), the sleep deprivation is definitely setting in (especially when you need to get up for 3 kids at night and not just the newborn), and trying to find the balance, and energy to make work, family, blog all sync together AND take a shower is proving death defying.

The thought of leaving the house for a normal grocery run, not so much.

So back to the amazing gift. With Baby #1, friends called on a whim and told us they were bringing a dinner that evening. So nice! But also a little scattered for my post prego brain.

With Baby #2, friends called and sent emails that they were going to be dropping off a dinner (insert any day of the week here). Which again was so nice, but I ended up trying to manage a dinner calendar while also trying to recover and master survive my way through our newborn and our 11 mos old! NOT an easy feat for a time that was most certainly the most challenging I’ve ever had.

So when my Fab Friend offered to organize dinners for me for #3, I was SO THANKFUL! What I never expected was 6 weeks of dinners, 7 days a week! ARE YOU KIDDING!?!?

Needless to say around 9AM each day I think, “I’ve got my snap together. I can rule the world! I am mommy, hear me roar!!”

But by noon I’m saying, “Dear Lord, thank you for giving me incredible friends that bring me dinner each day!! Also if you could please give me the energy to eat it, and not fall asleep in my plate, that would be great!!”

This is what my Fab Friend did (and yes she has a child too)…

  1. She emailed everyone asking who would like to help with dinners.
  2. Anyone that didn’t want to cook, was super busy, or lived further away, she offered to arrange for a dinner to be delivered by a local spot and they could send her a check.
  3. She sent out a master dinner calendar so everyone would know where their day was.
  4. She sends an email at the beginning of each week reminding everyone who’s up that week.
  5. And to top it all off, she and another Fab Friend gave me darling thanks notes (in the photo above), PRE-ADDRESSED.  They are just waiting for me to write and send after each meal!!  (They can also be purchased from my Favorite Sara + Abraham.

Truly, from the organization, to the meals, to the thanks cards – we could not be more grateful!  I encourage you to organize this if you have a friend that may be under water….you don’t have to be ill to appreciate the kind gesture of dinners.  TRUST ME, having 3 babes, 2 years old and younger will do it to you too!

I’ve also gotten to try a lot of things I would not have otherwise.  And when I’m feeling awful about a busy mom friend dropping off a dinner, the comment I always hear is.

“It was no big deal!  I just doubled up and am feeding my family the same thing!”

I’ve been asked a lot what we’ve been eating so far….here you go.  The variety has been amazing!  Seriously SUCH a treat!! THANK YOU!

Panini – Chicken Kabobs, Greek Salad, Pita Bread & Hummus.  Susie Cakes treats
Gina’s Pizza
– Rasta Salad, Green Pepper & Sausage Pizza, Buttered Pasta for the Kids
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce, Pasta, Garlic Bread, Sorbet
Homemade Baked Salmon, Strawberry Salad, Bread, Buttered Noodles & Jello Jigglers for the kids
Homemade Tostadas
Homemade Pesto Pasta Salad, Fruit, Choc Chip Cookies, Cookie Cutter PB&J, Pretzels, Fruit Roll Ups
Homemade Tamale Pie and Caesar Salad
Homemade Pasta, Stuffed Peppers, Brownies
Homemade Sweet Chicken and Rice, Salad, Hagan Daaz Ice Cream Bars
Homemade Chicken Divan, Fresh Fruit, Caesar Salad, Peeps
Pei Wei
(and a Quiche Lorraine for breakfast the next day & Zuchinni Bread for snacking)
“BFD” – Breakfast For Dinner – Crepes, Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Hash Browns, OJ
Homemade Chicken Chili, Chips, Avocado, Cheese
Bag of fun Groceries for Munching
Homemade Teriyaki Chicken & Rice, Salad, Lemon Bars
Trader Joe’s Pasta, Marina Sauce, Turkey Meatballs, Garlic Bread, Tea & Lemonade, Girl Scout Cookies
The Cheesecake Factory – Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Carbonara, Corn Dogs, Macadamia Nut Cheesecake
Homemade Scallop Potatoes, Ham, Spinach Salad, Rolls
La Fogata – Santa Fe Salad with Chicken, Chicken Tacos, Cheese Quesadilla
Daphnes – Chicken Kabobs, Rice, Greek Salad, Hummus, Pita Bread
Homemade Lasagana
Al’s NY Pizza & Salad


mother’s day is around the corner…

Even when life is crazy, and you’re not sure how you will survive, for me I look at my Littles and am so thankful for each of them.  That’s not to say that they are perfect and that every minute is easy, but it is to say that they make my heart smile!

For my birthday last year, Addie (and Dada) gave me a sweet little necklace with Addie’s name.  Then when Hayden was born a couple of weeks later, they gave me a tag with Hayden’s name on it.  Now I know there are a few different Mother’s Necklaces out there.  In fact quite a few wonderful options!  But I like to keep things really simple.

You may have noticed this photo in Tuesday’s post.
I’m wearing my Mother’s necklace with all 3 girls’ names…

(I am also wearing my own rectangular tag that was given to me years ago with my name).

I ALWAYS wear this necklace.  It’s from Mini Me Baby Gear.  And honestly, Jaime, the owner COULD NOT have been any nicer!  My husband had ordered the other girls tags for me, but I ordered Piper’s tag on my own.  If Jaime is reading this post, I KNOW she is getting a laugh out of this because I ordered the tag with a different name, called her a few hours later that I had changed my mind, and then emailed again that I wasn’t sure about the second name.  While I struggled back and forth about what Baby #3’s name would be and finally emailed back that I would order both names so I could decide when the tags arrived, Jaime on her own, contacted the vendor, Circle of Sentiments, and then told me to relax over the weekend, that I could let them know Monday night and they would ship it Tuesday so I would have it at the hospital (because I’m kind of crazy that way and really wanted #3’s tag at the hospital too!)

Mini Me Baby Gear was so amazing to work with!  They are based in Michigan, so I know by the hours I was receiving emails from Jaime that she was working late!  I felt like I had a next door neighbor friend on the other end of the email reassuring me that they would get it all taken care of for me, all I needed to do was pick the name and that she would take care of everything.  Oh and that she loved both of them!  LOVE HER for that!  Such amazing customer service!  How often do we get that these days?  Someone that truly wants to help us, take the pressure off and get you what you want!

I have the Silver Classic Mommy Necklace from Mini Me Baby Gear
with each of the girls’ names.

And at $45 I think it’s a great price!  Additional tags at the time of purchase are $19.95

But I also love the simplicity of the single initials…

The simple designs, great price tag, and amazing customer service
all make this necklace and this site a FAVORITE!

The tags have also served as a great “teether” for Hayden, as well as entertainment for Addie.  I switch them onto a longer army dog tag chain from time to time. Hayden loves to chew on the tags, while she is teething.  And Addie tries to put the chain over her head and mine, or else she just wants to wear “mama’s ‘lace”.  To me, this truly makes these tags a “Mommy Necklace !”

I strongly encourage you to check out Mini Me Baby Gear!  Check out the jewelry for some fun Mother’s Day gifts…maybe one from you to your mom?  Or from the GranLittles to Grandma?  Or Grandma to daughter?  Or MAYBE you just treat yourself!!  And when it arrives, open it, put it on, pour a glass of wine and say, “I’m a fabulous mother and I earned this!”

ANNNND guess what???? Mini Me Baby Gear and Circle of Sentiments are giving away 1 Classic Silver Mommy Necklace from the Signature Collection to a lucky MFE winner!!  Yippee!!  So excited for this as I love mine so much!

So….you know the drill.  Separate comment for each…

  1. Check out Mini Me Baby Gear and comment back here with a Favorite item.
  2. Follow My Favorite Everything on Facebook.
  3. Follow Mini Me Baby Gear on Facebook.
  4. Follow My Favorite Everything on Twitter.
  5. Follow Mini Me Baby Gear on Twitter.
  6. Tweet about this giveway, “Check out @MyFavoriteEverything & @MiniMeBabyGear b/c Mother’s Days is coming up and we’ve earned this! http://ow.ly/1vW07″
  7. Subscribe to My Favorite Everything daily emails.

Giveaway ends Friday, April 16th at 5:00pm PST and is open to US and Canadian residents.

(Disclosure: I have owned my necklace from Mini Me Baby Gear for 2 years.  I was not compensated or asked to write this post and Jaime did not know about my blog when I ordered my 3rd tag.  After Mini Me Baby Gear was so amazing to work with, I asked to write a post for them and they generously offered a fabulous necklace for an MFE reader.  Hope Mini Me Baby Gear and Circle of Sentiments become favorites for you too!)

yummie tummie for mummie, er, mummy!

OK, baby is here, I’m still at the hospital, but I can assure you that I’m DREAMING of, (longing, salivating, DYING) to get my pre-3-year-pregnant body back!!!  I’m no fool, I know it will take some time (even if hubby is hoping it will be back by Monday…), but get it back I will!

But I have a secret, (though not so secret when you publish it in a blog read by thousands…)


I am IN LOVE WITH YUMMIE TUMMIE shapewear!

I found this amazing line through Bare Necessities last year just before I had Hayden.  (I also have a not so secret love affair with Bare Necessities as you can order up all the intimates you want to try, ship them to your house  ~ often with free shipping ~ and then try everything on in the comfort of your home to be sure you have the correct size and that it looks as it should under your dress, top, pants, etc….then return wasn’t doesn’t fit. LOVE THIS!)

So last year I ordered a ton of different shapewear peices, and to be totally honest, I loved what the Yummie Tummie products said they would do, but I also thought the name was fabulouswho doesn’t want a Yummie Tummie?!?! Doesn’t really matter if your post prego or not!

Here’s a little more info from their site:

“Yummie Tummie is a modern body contouring shaper. Your Yummie Tummie is meant to be seen while secretly slimming your mid-section and camouflaging visible lumps and bumps!

Unlike most shapewear that compress your bust and roll up, the Yummie Tummies’ cotton bust and hip panels appear to the outsider as a normal tank top; meanwhile the secret midsection panel is smoothing and shaping your middle, eliminating approximately five pounds off your appearance.

See some samples of how to wear your Yummie Tummie here.”

And as it happens, most of you have read now that I had an emergency C-section last year. I had a very different recovery with Hayden than I did with Addie.  And my Yummie Tummie tops were a godsend!  I purchased an original tank, a nursing tank and a T-shirt.  They are very light weight and easily layered under other shirts and tops, just as you would any other layering piece.  Difference is, the Yummie Tummie tops have extra length to keep the shirts from riding up, and their middle section is extra snug to help YOUR middle section stay sucked in, without anyone giving you a congrats hug and feeling anything different than your shirt!  I loved that it helped hold in the not so flattering muffin top and allowed me to feel cute, sooner, in my sundresses, and jeans.

And I am SOOOOO excited because this time around they have even more products available!  Which is great for new moms, or moms with grown kids, or women with NO KIDS.  Every girl loves to feel “put together” no matter your stage, there is a top for you!  I love that Yummie Tummie has selections with patterns as well as different styles that would look great under a little wrap for date night, or a suit for work.  I also love the new boyfriend tanks that make it easier to wear a good bra underneath.

Be sure to check out all the options available!  I honestly am so happy to be able to pull these out again from last year, its like welcoming a friend back!

ANNNNDDDDDD…..oh this is so fabulous…..

Yummie Tummie is giving away a shapewear top to one lucky My Favorite Everything Winner!!  A nursing tank or an original tank Yippee!

Here is everything you can do to win, the more you do the more chances you have to win!

  1. Visit the Yummie Tummie site and let us know what your favorite top is. (1 entry)
  2. Follow Yummie Tummie on Twitter (1 entry)
  3. Tweet this giveaway, “What girl doesn’t want a @YummieTummie ~ Check out the giveaway @MyFavEverything http://ow.ly/1gUaQ!” (1 entry)
  4. Check out the Yummie Tummie Facebook page (1 entry)
  5. Subscribe to the daily emails or RSS feed for My Favorite Everthing (1 entry)
  6. Vote for My Favorite Everything on Top Mommy Blogs, your click is your vote (1 entry. Comment each day and let me know voted again for an additional entry with each comment)

Giveaway ends Thursday, March 18th at 5:00pm PST and is open to US and Canadian residents.

Best of luck!  We all deserve a Yummie Tummie!

(Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post.  I have been using Yummie Tummie products HAPPILY long before having any contact with the company.  I did receive a new skinny tank to try this pregnancy, and will most certainly let you know about this style as well! But would have written this review regardless.)

today is the day!

So it’s here.

The day we finally meet #3…who as I write this still does not have a name waiting for her…but hopefully by the time you read this, she will!

As I write this post one week before you actually read it, I’m flooded with memories from last year.  So I’ll warn you now…

this will not be my typical post

it will be more personal

and it will be long.

But it is where I am at the moment as I start to mentally prepare for Baby #3s arrival.

On March 14th, 2008 we welcomed beautiful Addison Eve into our lives.  I don’t know what life would ever have been like if we hadn’t been blessed with Addie.  She is our most wonderful, first born daughter that can make us happy and spin our heads all in the same split second. She is without a doubt well nicknamed, Tornaddie!  We love her silliness to the moon and back.  Her little smile and her little voice  calling out “Hi Mama! Hi Dada!” Are the best! I will never forget being handed my FIRST born baby!  Even today, she is my baby each and every time I hold her.

My heart is overfilled with love for her!

Everything about Addie’s pregnancy was normal for me, up until the last week when my amnio fluid levels started dropping.  After daily monitoring, I was induced 2 days before my due date.  This in itself was a little scary, but once we were assured that Addie was not in distress, the rest of the labor was a piece of cake!  We actually had to hold delivering her until the doctor arrived at the hospital.  So all in all a very easy, breeezy pregnancy and labor!

When Addie was 3 months old we learned we were pregnant again. This after we had just decided we wanted to wait until Addie was 6 months and then we might try for our second.

Too late.

After returning from an amazing Father’s Day weekend of racing cars and wine tasting, we found out we were pregnant already!

Sweet Hayden Quinne joined us February 16, 2009. She has been our most wonderful little Giggle Monster!  Always a smile on her face and loads of squishy baby rolls to hug on!  When you need you some baby love, she can give it to ya!  Life with Hay may not have been planned, but it is a sweet, sweet, joyful life that we can’t imagine missing. Her big smile and two front teeth kill me on a daily basis! Just when I didn’t think I had more love to give, along comes Hay!

Hay’s pregnancy was a little tougher as I was still working on the resort for The Irvine Company, was in fact in my 5th year of the project and coming up on the installation.  I had just been through Addie’s pregnancy and I don’t think my body was totally physically ready yet to be pregnant. I was sure I was having a boy as I craved steak ALL THE TIME, which we later found out was an iron deficancy coming out of Pregnancy #1.  So the next year was spent with my losing my hair, growing my hair, raising one baby, growing another baby, working full time, remodeling a house, moving, and just trying to balance it all.

Again a normal pregnancy, but I needed to stop working a little earlier.  For some reason I had high amnio levels this time and Hayden became my human Ferris Wheel.  We never knew which direction she would be at each OB appointment.  She was usually transverse, meaning her body was horizontal instead of pointing up or down.  This meant she would most likely need to be a c-section unless she turned.  With Hayden I went into labor on my own 4 days before my due date.  After a Sunday of slowly building contractions, and off and on phone calls with the doctor, my contractions ultimately woke me up in the middle of the night at 8 minutes apart.  Grams and Gramps were called for Addie and we headed to the hospital 10 minutes away.

After a quick check in, quick labor prep, all was just as normal as before and the good news was Hayden seemed to be still facing down.

But my labor was not the same, it in fact became more and more painful regardless of the epidural and pain meds….after a little longer it was determined that Hayden was caught on my pelvic bone and was being further and further pushed into it with each contraction.

She was in distress.

At that moment, my life went upside down.

It was like an ER episode as I was prepped for an emergency c-section. Authorization papers flying, racing down hallways to an OR,  doctors and nurses being so reassuring, but panic in everyone’s eyes.

The doctors were amazing, but they struggled for quite some time to get Hayden out.  Such a relief to finally hear her cry!  I’ve never been so worried and so grateful…

But it wasn’t over.

The next thing I remember is the anathesiologist asking how I felt, and I remember looking at him and feeling woozy and spinning.  And then thinking, OMG my health directive says not to take heroic effortsOMG do they know that just means I don’t want to be on life support???!!!  I DO WANT TO LIVE, OMG I can’t leave my 2 babies and my husband, not now, not yet.

But all I’m doing is spinning.  No words are in my mouth.

I can hear the anathesiologist warning the doctor, the doctor is yelling assured, but worried orders herself, my husband was quickly taken out of the room….everyone was in rescue mode and I am just drifting in and out, and totally afraid that I would not be returning to my family.  My husband was himself in his own worried world alone and waiting with our new baby for the longest hour in another room.

Without the full details, some damage had occurred due to the way Hayden was wedged and stuck, which caused me to lose quite a lot of blood and it was difficult for the doctors to stop the loss, which then led to a blood transfusion to bring things back to normal.

But to normal we returned much later in the day and I was finally able to return OVER THE MOON GRATEFUL to be with my family and new baby.

Most of what occurred so early that morning pretty much left my memory.  I think they say it’s your body’s survival mechanism to not remember.

And I really didn’t.

Until I watched the season finale of ER a few months later, and it all came rushing back in a flood of tears and memory. As I looked at my husband and told him I didn’t think I could go through it again.  That I loved our girls, but the fear of something happening to a baby after carrying him or her 9 mos, or to me, causing him and our babies to be left alone and without a mother and wife….

I just couldn’t do it again.

But shortly after we found ourselves unbelievably pregnant.

We spent the first few months just trying to breathe and come to terms with the fact we were pregnant, again. How?!

I’ve spent many days emotionally preparing for it all and really throwing myself into our girls, our family, my job, everything.

We finally told our families around 5 1/2 months (I claimed I was struggling to lose baby weight), so needless to say, when you only admit your pregnant at 5 1/2 months, it goes pretty fast!!!

And now we’re here.

As you read this, we are at the hospital.  The baby is transverse again. But the c-section is planned this time, so I’m calm going into this.  I’ve had the luxury of making plans for our girls to be sure this week is as easy on them and my husband as possible.  I’ve been able to prepare myself for the hospital stay, and get ready for this new little bundle of joy coming into our lives.  We are so excited to meet her and join her merry band of sisters!!  And it has been nice to not have the guess work of what day!

But I’m still scared.

I know when I enter the hospital it will all come rushing back, just as it has been as I’ve been trying to write this post.

I also know that things happen as they should and that we, baby and me, will be in the BEST possible care.

So as much as I’m afraid, I’m also excited! But I would still love your good thoughts and prayers for the baby, for me, and for our family, and I promise to introduce you to our newest favorite Little as soon as possible!

Thank you to everyone for all of your support and encouragement over the past few months as this blog has come to life!  We have so many more adventures ahead of us and many more favorite things to discover!!  I can’t wait!

Big hugs to you all!

(Images: Every fabulous image in this post is from our newborn photo shoots with Sandy Heit in 2008 and 2009, all others are just our family photos).

hospital time…what to pack?

Sunday I finally sat down to pack my hospital bag.  Can’t believe I waited until now, but it’s finally done!

I tend to keep things simple when I pack my bag for the hospital. If you have a regular delivery, your stay will be short.  But you will still be DYING for that first shower, and  you will still want some cute and cozy things to wear (and to be in all your pictures!)  But since you also have no idea what will happen when you get to the hospital, it’s good to have a few extra things to be prepared.  I’m purposely preparing for a few more days as I know I’m having a c-section.

Also, check with your hospital.  At mine, you deliver the baby in one place and are then moved to a new floor and room that you will be staying in for the rest of your visit.  Better to just bring in the bag you’ll need with you for labor (like a tote), and then have hubby bring the rest of your things up once you are in your room.  Less to keep track of and potentially lose!

****My biggest tip is to make yourself a list of what is NOT IN YOUR BAG that needs to be.  For instance, if your camera battery is charging, or your cell phone is somewhere else, put it on the list of THINGS TO REMEMBER and then put that list on top of your bag.  I have not forgotten anything yet by doing this.

This list is in no particular order, just as I’m thinking of what I’m packing in my tote for labor:

  1. Flip Flops – you will be up walking around and scooting to the ladies room often.  (Plus you’ll want them for the shower when you move to your room later…..think dorm college days.)
  2. Make up bag – you don’t really need it, but you don’t know how long your labor will take (we didn’t have Addie until the next morning after being induced at noon the day before), could be quick, could be long.  Nice to know your makeup is in your tote if you want to freshen up a bit.
  3. TOOTHBRUSH and toothpaste – remember what I just said about it could be quick, could be long….nice to be able to brush your teeth.
  4. A pillow from home.
  5. Camera and chargerVideo camera if you want one….I would have shot anyone that came in the room with a video camera.  We just take photos and little videos with our small camera when people visit.  Be sure you have charged your battery BEFORE you get to the hospital.
  6. If you want to give yourself a little luxury, I think the dearjohnnies hospital gowns are SUPER CUTE and much more fun to have in those first photos instead of the blue hospital gown.  I’ve seen other options out there, but I love that these aren’t bulky, they are pretty fabrics and soft!  And that they work the same as the regular hospital gowns (ties and snaps) making it easy for your Labor and Delivery nurses (who will be your BFFs for the next few hours!) I can’t wait to wear mine this time!
  7. You can bring magazines, cards, a book, laptop, iPod (just don’t forget chargers) – anything else that may help you pass the time.  As it was for us, we had a very non eventful afternoon when Addie was induced.  We really could have done anything until that evening as we were just in the wait and see game.  With Hayden, everything moved much faster as I was already in labor when we got to the hospital as most of the “waiting”  had been done at home.  Just good be to be prepared.
  8. Health Directive.  If you do not have one, most hospitals will have something that you can sign, but nice to already have it take care of.  Just bring a copy with you to give to your nurse.  We used a standard form in a Quicken program.
  9. Any paper work from your doctors office to pass onto the hospital.  They usually give you a card with pertinent information about you – blood type, Rubella immunity, etc.
  10. If you have birth plan, bring this as well.  I have never had one.  I knew that I did not want to be in pain, that I wanted an epidural, and that the safety of the baby was my utmost concern.  Additionally, no matter what you plan, something comes up that can throw the it all for a loop.  So I tend to just have the plan for the basics and know that I’m going to make the best choices as they arise.

This is everything else you may want to keep in the car and bring up once you are in your longer stay room:

  1. Another pillow for hubby.
  2. Toiletry kit for hubby and a couple changes of shirts, etc.  Unless he will be running home to shower and change, take care of other kids, etc then it’s nice for him to have some comforts too. Remember, he may be up all night with you and greeting family in the morning.
  3. For sure take slippers….hospital floor, need I say more??? Plan to either throw them away or be able to wash them.
  4. Your toiletry kit – toothbrush/paste, face lotion, shampoo & conditioner, hair dryer, body lotion, deodorant, hair dryer, brush…and yes, I take my flat iron – photos for life people!!
  5. I like to have a blanket or throw from home.
  6. Laptop & charger – I’m taking it only because I will be there for an extended stay.  Otherwise, leave it at home and enjoy the time getting to know your new little one.
  7. Some people like to take a robe, I prefer to take a towel wrap for the shower (less bulk) and for real, after you’ve had a baby, you still look pregnant.  Try getting a hospital towel wrapped around you!
  8. I didn’t really take anything cute to wear when I was in the hospital with Addie as everyone told me I would be there such a short time, that it wasn’t worth it.  Hogwash. Even if you are only there a day, I still think you’ll want something cute!  I hate seeing the blue hospital gown in so many of Addie’s first photos.  It’s ok for those first few photos, but when you start seeing me in photos with friends and family over the next day or so, I WISH I had been wearing something nicer.  So for Hayden, I brought 2 cute pairs of PJs. Having a nursing night gown type thing is best, or again a dearjohnnies gown.  I didn’t know about the dearjohnnies gowns last year, so I brought nursing tops and super comfy, soft pants and was TOTALLY happy.  But I would recommend black pants only.  Just sayin…I was also glad that I had brought a few things as I didn’t know at the time I packed that I would be having a c-section and therefore be at the hospital 5 days.
  9. A couple of nursing bras.
  10. An outfit for you to wear home.  Something comfortable.
  11. An outfit for the baby to wear home.  I have the same little pink kimono onsie that each of our girls has worn home.  It’s amazing to me to pull it out each time and see how small they once were!
  12. A swaddle blanket for baby to go home in.  I tend to use the hospital blankets, caps and kimono shirts while I’m there as it’s just easy.  But then change baby into her own things as we head home.

OK a few extras.

If possible, ask your doctor if you can fill your pain med prescriptions BEFORE you head to the hospital.  Then they are at home for you and ready to go.  You can keep on the same schedule you’ve been on at the hospital, and there is no rush to pick them up from the pharmacy.  TRUST ME, you don’t want to mess with this program.  This would be known as “Melt Down 2009” in our house when hubby forgot to pick up my pain meds (but remembered the pool cleaning equipment and I lapsed passed my regular time to take them…..I wouldn’t ask hubby about it, still a “painful moment” for us both!).  This year, mine are filled and ready.

Because I will be in the hospital for more than an overnight.  We have a plan for how the girls get to visit mommy each day.  (Probably more for mommy than them, but I don’t want to be away from my Littles!) So I’ve packed a little treat for them each day.  Some choose to give books on new siblings, or give a sibling there own new baby doll.  Our girls are a little young to “get” the new sister thing. Grams and Gramps gave them their own baby dolls in their own bassinets for their birthdays, which they LOVE!  My treats are more just fun happies for them when they come to visit.  You don’t need to do big things, just a fun minding….I have picture board books, pin wheels, Thomas the Train bath toys (they LOVE trains), and these AWESOME crayon artist rolls ups from Bloom Woosie with a notepad and stickers.  (Stay tuned for my post on Bloom Woosie next week!  Super cute Etsy shop!)

My middle sister is also flying in town and bringing her nephews, so I got them a little treat too.  Easy wrapping job – lunch bag and cute cut out construction paper letter.

VERY LAST THING.…because I knew my c-section date, I made a hair appt and an mani/pedi appt for Monday – nothing like a little pampering the day before, PLUS knowing you are that much more put together for the week!

That’s about it.  Remember, whatever you take with you, you need to bring home with you and will also be bringing home a new baby, loads of flowers and possibly extra gifts.  Try to pack just what you need to be comfortable.

My bag is packed and we are off to the hospital Tuesday!!

friend favorite ~ tight bod with a pod

Melissa Heuser is a hero to me!  She saved my backside, quite literally, when I was pregnant with my first baby, Addie.  I was still working full time in an office and she came to my house 2 mornings a week and whipped my booty into gear.  I wore my pre-prego jeans until I was 5 mos pregnant and then switched to maternity clothes.  I loved that people would tell me they couldn’t tell I was pregnant until I turned around (I’m sure they were only humoring me, but I loved it anyway!).  This was not quite the case with baby #2.  If you recall, we found out I was pregnant when Addie was 2 months old.  The fitness program?? Not so much second time around…Mel on the other hand was pregnant with her first while I was pregnant with my second and actually delivered 2 days after me.  She was in her pre-jeans about 3 days later. You want to dislike her, but can’t because she is so amazingly awesome!

Mel now offers her tips for everyone!  She just launched this incredible website, TBwaP ~ “Tight Pod with a Pod”. (And on a side note, Mel was crazy like me and just had her second baby.  I think her website and the baby both happened within days of each other.  So she is a mom of a now 1 year old and a newborn.  If anyone is qualified to give tips, she is!)

“To help keep us on track we need a partner, a friend, a co-worker, your husband, your older kids, someone to help motivate us and keep us accountable to our healthy lifestyle.  TBwaP can also help. It’s a free daily newsletter that sends you exercises fitness tips, eats and lifestyle articles. All tailored to your mom status, weather you are just talking about being a mom, just peed on the stick or you have a 4 year old we are all moms trying to find the balance. Log on to www.tightbodwithapod.com today to start getting the inside scoop.”

A few of Mel’s Favorite things:

  1. Favorite beauty tip: Hydrate
  2. Favorite kid/baby item: Happy Baby squeezable organic fruit and veggie puree’s available @ Target
  3. Favorite Place: Home
  4. Must have shoe for summer: a well fitting supportive athletic shoe see Road Runner Sports or find a location to get a free fitting.
  5. Favorite week night recipe:

Healthy Turkey Taco Bar:

Ground turkey, packet of Mexican seasoning (low sodium) tomatoes, cucumber, low fat cheese, low fat sour cream, avocado slices, lettuce, corn or flour tortillas and black beans.

Once your pregnant the need for your body to be strong and active increases. Here are a few exercises for less body aches, more energy, sleeping better, preparing your body for labor and getting a head start on getting the baby weight off. Keep it simple; you can do safe effective workouts at home. The must have piece of equipment is a stability ball; even just sitting on it will relieve pressure and tension. Also it is a great tool for labor.

My “3” favorite prenatal exercises that are safe for all trimesters:

Lunge: strengthening those legs will help support the growing belly.  In your second and third trimester use a chair for balance.

Row Your Boat: Postural changes create upper back pain. Having a strong upper back will help your “girls” get perky too. Oh and of course prep you for picking up and holding your baby who gets heavier every day!

Core Plank: A safe way to focus on the core is with this modified plank. By extending opposite leg, opposite arm, your core will activate to keep you balanced.

My favorite post exercises are:

Keep it simple in the beginning and focus on cardio and core!

Cardio: Slowly get into a cardio activity of your choice. Once the doc gives you the thumbs up to start working out find a heart pumping exercise and squeeze it in your day. I recommend, running/jogging stairs, stationary bike, and swimming. It feels so good to get your circulation going and the lungs working.

*Tip If you only have 10 min give it all you got, get the most our of your time!

Core everyday!!! Those tummy muscles need to be rehabilitated they have been stretched to the max. C-section tummies need to take it slower with gentle exercises for a little longer. But both bellies need some TLC.

Try Pulses:  Lay on back, knees bent, lift shoulders off the ground arms straight and press your hands down in pulse motion. Try to do 10-20, rest and repeat.

And in case you want a little more help….

As your body changes through pregnancy so does your mobility, balance, and ability to do certain exercises. Take it slow and be true to your previous workout experience. If you are new the workout scene take it slow, lightweight or no weight. If you are on the other end of the spectrum and are an athlete, gym rat, long distance runner; scale back don’t increase mileage or speed, kick it into neutral and do maintenance during these 40 weeks. If you aren’t sure and need some guidance there are many prenatal DVD’s or downloads available. Tight bod with a Pod sponsored videos are available at Exercise TV Mel’s Fit Baby Body. This package has 3 videos to help throughout your pregnancy. They are affordable and trimester specific. Find what works for you and stick with it!

***Thanks for the tips Mel!  Goodness knows I’m going to need a new healthy lifestlye and lots of booty kicking to get the 3 year pregnant body back again!!  Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us all!!