packing my hospital bag for the third baby

The last time we had a newborn was about 5 years ago. It's amazing how different the baby market is now, than what it offered back then. In a lot of ways I felt like a first time mom this time as I created a registry, shopped for my hospital bag and prepared for our little boy to arrive. 

I knew I was going to have a c-section this time, so it was a little different preparing my bag. Now we are at home and have passed week 6 with our little Theodore. Goodness what a joy! 

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But as I pull out newborn items, and use products (some for the first time) that I didn't use with our other two boys, I wanted to create a list of things that have really helped me this time around. I think for my own sake really, because if we have another baby I'd like to remember what we actually found as necessary. Hint: you don't need much.  

I'll start with my hospital bag for this post, but I'd like to follow up with our must have baby items with a third baby. 

When I created my list, I scoured Pinterest for some ideas for a c-section delivery. I found some very helpful ideas and used some from a few different sites. So here's my go to list for packing your bag (keep in mind this is for c-section, but a lot could apply for a natural delivery). 

1. Nursing pads  I think they may actually have nursing pads if you ask for them, but I brought a few just in case. My milk seemed to come in faster with each baby, so I was thankful I had some on hand that I liked. 

2. Burts Bees facial wipes these were super helpful when I couldn't get up that first 24 hours or so after he was delivered. My face felt gross, and it was quick way to make me feel a little fresher without the help of soap and water! 

3. Gas x pills sounds embarrassing to pack (as well as the next item) but were so helpful! Especially with a c-section. You are having a major surgery, and air somehow finds a way to become trapped in the weirdest places. I had gas pains in my shoulder and neck! Taking this simple little pill will relieve some pain for you in a big way. 

4Colace I know this is not so lovely to talk about, but be sure to include this in your bag. Especially with c-sections. You'll want to start taking it earlier than later, as everything slows way down with surgery. I started this right away and was so very thankful I did! It helped a lot. And thats enough about that.

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5. Ginger tea and Ginger brew  after delivery I was on a liquid diet for 24 hours. Hot liquids are encouraged to help move everything along, and having something that will settle any nausea was wonderful. I love Traditional Medicinal teas, and the ginger is really soothing. We also packed some natural ginger ale (the Ginger brew) and both my husband and I loved it mixed with cran grape juice! The bubbles felt good in my belly too! Also you can pick them both up at Kroger, our local grocery store here in Georgia. 

6Prenatals I brought my own prenatal vitamins, because I wanted to take what I was familiar with. I love my New Chapter ones, and they even have a Post Natal one that I'm using now. They are whole food based with organic ingredients, plus an extra blend just for breastfeeding! The hospital gives you a multi vitamin usually but I know how my body feels taking these, and I opted to bring my own. 

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7. A few of newborn outfits and onesies. With our first son I made the mistake of bringing baby clothes that were 0-3 in size. Um, those do NOT fit a typical newborn (7-8 lbs). I learned quickly that they have to be labeled "N" for newborn. I'd bring some in each size though since you never know how big baby will be! I brought about 3 or 4 outfits. The sooner you dress them, be prepared for possible blow outs or wet diapers leaking through those little clothes! 

8. Swaddles I had read that some mom's did not take swaddles and didn't need them at the hospital. Um, nope. We spent many hours awake because Theodore kept kicking out of his swaddled blankets from the hospital. I had wished we'd brought our trusty swaddles from home! They have velcro straps that helped him stay swaddled and sleeping! I linked to a brand that I really like, and that stays swaddled. Really though, ones with velcro are great in general. 

9. A robe  and a pretty night gown once you are out of your amazing looking hospital gown, it's so nice to feel pretty in a comfortable night gown and robe. I always try to get up and walk as soon as I possibly can, because it helps healing go that much faster. Having a pretty robe to keep myself modest was a need. I'd even bring 2 or 3 night gowns, if you will be there for 3-4 days (c-section). It's so much better than pants, since the nurses need to check you regularly and make sure the top is easy access for breast feeding. I picked up a gown at motherhood maternity (linked above) and it was made for nursing and so very comfortable!

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I really wanted to make a nice even list of 10, but these 9 things were the ones I really remembered as being helpful. Of course you can add the essentials like your own toiletries, your pillow, slippers, change of clothes, camera, phone and chargers etc. Being our third time here I knew we didn't want to take too much stuff. 

You should have seen us with the first two babies. We actually had a cart for all our gear. Ahem. 

I hope this list is helpful for you mama who is having your first, your second, your fifth. Wherever you are in this journey of motherhood. What a fun and blessed one it is isn't it? 


A birthday celebration

Our baby boy turned 3 years old this August and we celebrated by taking a day trip to a local science museum. I can't believe we have another 3 year old at home now. I still feel like he is very babyish, even though he is much more boy than baby these days. 

We decided to take a trip to Tellus Museum in Cartersville, GA. It's really not a far drive from our neck of the woods and because it was a weekday it was wonderfully quiet there. We had the museum nearly to ourselves! The boys loved seeing the dinosaur replicas, the gems and stones, the NASA exhibit (with a genuine astronaut suit to try on!) the hands on play areas (with a digging site for little archeologists) and so much more to explore. 

We packed our lunch and stopped midway through our visit to eat it outdoors on a nice shaded bench right outside the museum. Really, if you have little boys this is truly a "gem" for them. And it was fascinating for Jonah and I as well. 

Personally I really loved the NASA exhibit, and seeing a real moon rock. I also loved seeing all the gems and minerals and the ones that actually had a phosphorescence quality! You can see the large orb down below (left with regular light, right with black light). 

I think I was more in awe of all that God created when I walked out of Tellus. Why would He choose to make rocks glow in the dark? Or why would He choose to make creatures as large as dinosaurs (including a ginormous sea turtle we saw a replica of, also pretty cool)? 

This summer has been one where we've often stood in awe for who God is. For what He creates and designs with so much thought and care. And it's a humbling and grateful place that I find myself in each time I realize how good a God He is to care so much for those He's created, even by simply making a rock that glows in the dark. 

We were thrilled to celebrate our big 3 year old at such a fun museum, and to also partake of our family traditions again. Every birthday has turned into a doughnut run for breakfast and a chance for each boy to choose a balloon of their choice. We love making traditions and opting for a family day trip over a party was a very good choice all around this year. Happy Birthday to our big boy, who has already nearly mastered his new balance bike! 


Little Sawyer

After our trip to France, I was really, really wanting to try my hand out on a personal everyday shoot before we had to return our rented Fuji x100t. I love shooting stories and of course if the story has a new mama in it, it becomes even more personal to me (a gal with a huge heart for motherhood). 

My friend Lily and her hubby Scotty had just welcomed their first son, Sawyer, into the world, and I had the opportunity to take some very new, first photos of their little bean. 

It was a sunny morning, Sawyer was as sweet as could be, and these new parents are easily fitting the new shoes of "mom and dad".  Thanks Lily and Scotty for letting me step into your lives briefly during these precious early days!

baby sawyer
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the bedtime routine

You may remember Kelly and Andy from their sound story that we shared recently. When we were planning their photo story we asked them what we often ask our clients: to think about moments that they'd like to remember 10 or 20 years down the road and have those captured as their story. Their typical day is packed full as they both work from home and take care of two little ones. But in the craziness of their busy lives they wanted to remember the ordinary of their everyday evening routine. What this looked like for them—coming together as a family for dinner, wiping down two tiny pizza-stained faces, running upstairs to take a bath, putting on jammies, reading bedtime stories, singing songs together and praying before the lights go out. Mix in the energy of two kids, the giggles and playfulness of winding down and the sweetness of hearing prayers being lifted up made for a very special story. It was really an honor for us to be able to take photos of their everyday, because we know that they will be able to hold on to these little years a little bit longer through both the still images and the sound bites. No scripting from us, just their real life. Check out their story below, and if you haven't done so head over to hear their sound story as well. Thank you to this family for letting us briefly step into your lives!