Thursday, July 27, 2017

Minimalist Hospital Packing List {Baby #3}

This being my third trip to the Labor and Delivery unit at our local hospital (which so happens to have been my place of birth, my husbands and our siblings and two daughters!) I felt confident packing my bag this go around. Affiliate links used. A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog! 
Minimalist Hospital Packing List {Baby #3}
I call this my minimalist packing list as I don't bring "everything and the kitchen sink". I also don't plan on staying longer than a day (or any more than I have to!)

Nursing tank- more coverage and support than those hospital gowns.
Cozy cardigan- a robe or hoodie would work just as well.
Yoga/jogger pants- I forgo the hospital gown ASAP after delivery and found that it makes me so much more comfortable when I'm in my own clothes.
Non Slip Socks For Hospital- no one wants to put their bare feet onto hospital floors (shudder).
Toiletries- toothbrush/toothpaste, facial soap/lotion, Travel Size Shampoo + Conditioner Kit, deodorant (and extra points if they're travel-sized!) hair ties, lip balm
HUGGIES Wipes- so easy to use and dispose when changing those first sticky merconium diapers! 
Going home outfit for you and baby- truth be told I usually stay in my post-birth uniform of nursing tank/yoga pants/cardigan but a maxi dress would be just as comfy! But Baby's going home outfit is a pretty big deal, am I right?
Boppy Nursing Pillow- this item could technically be left off and regular pillows used but the shape is superior and using it to nurse is so much more convenient.
Water Bottle- I don't go anywhere without mine!
Phone/charger- how else will you share baby's birth announcement on social media? ;)
***Car seat installed in car- this will stay in your car but is a must.***

I hope this list helps other mom's find that packing for the hospital need not be stressful or  feel like you're laden-down with "stuff" as the best bundle is the one you get to carry in your arms for the first time after growing for nine months!

This post was first seen on The Vintage Honey Shop Blog!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The {July} Book Report

The {July} Book Report
After a slow start to the month reading-wise, I picked up steam and crossed off four books! Three out of the four were authors that I adore and one newcomer to the world of Christian Fiction. Let's see what I read, shall we?  Affiliate links used. A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog! 

Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Thoughts:
I had a hard time getting through this book. I guess I was expecting something more magical (for lack of a better word) from J.K Rowling and this just fell short for me. 

Characters: 
I didn't care for a single character in this whole book. Everyone had such big personalities and just behaved so ugly that I was really turned off. This is in no way like her Harry Potter series and for that I am saddened. I will say Rowling is a very good storyteller, I just wouldn't ever recommend anyone reading this particular one. 

Stars:
3 out of 5

Buy the book here and the movie here

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Goodereads Synopsis:
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

Thoughts:
I adored Strout's Olive Kitteridge and was hoping for more of that nitty-gritty, daily life prose that she is so good at but which fell short for me on this one. I guess I was expecting more family drama and got more information about Somalia than I was prepared for.

Characters:
My favorite Burgess sibling was "slob-dog" Bob and I am so glad his storyline ended on a high note! Actually, the character development was great all around and I definitely have my strong opinions about how each Burgess sibling acted/reacted during times of crisis and distress.

Stars: 
3 out of 5

Buy the book here

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
 

Thoughts:
I'm still sorting through my feelings on this one! It was a powerful read and I have to add that I had to mentally edit some of the language used and may have been left with a bad taste in my mouth by the Bauer's behaviors and beliefs. Picoult can spin a yarn like no other and this was just as emotionally tugging as you would expect from her. Courtroom drama aside (I could do without, personally) this is a story that will open your eyes.

Characters:
Ruth was my favorite character and it broke my heart that she was put into such a devastating situation and that situations like that happened more often than I know(!)

Stars: 
4 out of 5

Buy the book here

Grounded Hearts by Jeanne M. Dickson
Goodreads Synopsis:
In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.

Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection—and an unbreakable bond.

But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?

Thoughts:
I must be drawn to WWII novels. But this is the first time I've read about it from the point of view of Ireland! Funny how you don't think about who else was affected (the whole world) when the drama was being played out in Germany (or is that just me?) This was an easy read and I'm a fan of a good happy ending so I was satisfied there. I wasn't too thrilled with some of the Christian aspects of the story; the priest wasn't enduring and some situations turned sexual, inappropriately and left me scratching my head.

Characters:
The main characters were likeable enough but Nan's guilt and preoccupation over her dead, abusive husband started to wear thin on my patience. The assorted townsfolk really made this a cast of characters and the brogue was fun to read.

Stars:
3 out of 4

Enter to win a copy here!


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer 10X10 Capsule // Final Week 2

Well, I'm a lil embarrassed to say this post is a few days late! But sometimes the sunshine calls and a family adventure awaits, so things don't get published ;)  So how did I do on this 10X10 challenge? Not that great. And I'm not afraid to admit it! Being pregnant comes with it's own special circumstances and this mama didn't account for growth, haha. Let's get to the outfits and then a breakdown of my shortcomings, er, roundcomings? Affiliate links used. A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thank you for supporting my blog! 

Look Six:
I picked my items just to wear this combo! And I love it!
Graphic tee + pregnancy maxi + Converse
Look Seven:
I've worn this outfit over the course of my pregnancy and it is comfy and cute (if I do say so myself.)
Kimono + maternity tank + ponte pants + Converse
Look Eight:
Blame this on being lazy but I just couldn't muster a picture. Another favorite combo.
Chambray top + maternity dress + Converse
Look Nine:
An outfit that didn't match the weather. It was forecasted to be 64 and overcast, it was 70 without a cloud in the sky and I was sweating. We also had a park playdate so I got sunburned, whomp whomp. And I literally feel like I have to hold up this bump at 34 weeks.
Chambray top + black tank + ponte pants + Converse
Look Ten:
And here's where I messed up because the outfit I was planning on wearing, didn't fit anymore, sigh. My graphic tee just won't fit over the baby bump and no amount of creative layering was going to save that look.

Takeaway:
I will most definitely do this challenge next season! I love finding new ways to mix and match my closet and since I'll be postpartum it'll be a whole new game. 

If I was to repick my items for this challenge I would have swapped out my graphic tee for my black and white striped tee but the top over dress wouldn't have been an option and that was my favorite look!

Only having one pair of shoes to work with was easy when getting dressed but I most definitely missed having options. Plus, Converse just aren't the most comfortable on my feet. And how do you keep them clean?! Seriously, let me know your secret!

Shop my looks:

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Month 8 Bumpdate {Baby Boy}

How far along: THIRD Trimester :: Weeks 31-35
Size of baby: A pineapple at week 33
Weight gain: 167 pounds // 28 pounds gained.
Maternity clothes: I'm basically wearing the same 15 pieces over and over. I ripped a seam in my panel on my maternity jeans and that really made me mad; besides having to sew it myself (which is laughable in itself) quality of clothes has just gone down over the years. Shame on you, manufacturers.
Genderboy!
Movement: This little guy's inutero personality is pretty funny. I get mild bumps and kicks throughout the day but come night time he is all party, all the time. Not sure if I should be concerned about this yet...
Sleep: Minus the bathroom trips and occasional re-bedding of a certain little girl, my sleep hasn't suffered too much this month. I have noticed that my hips are starting to hurt due to side-sleeping and the vivid bizarre dreams have started up again.  
What I miss: Lately I really just want to flop down onto my stomach and take a nap, or play with the girls or even just lay there staring at my phone. And also being able to see my legs/feet (though I know they are not in good shape lol) at any given moment.
Cravings: I've had some all-over-the-place cravings! Cucumber slices with cream cheese and TJ's Everything but the Bagel sesame seed seasoning. Trail Mix with chocolate and dried cherries. FRUIT! Any and all. But the worse craving is for coffee. Say what?! I hardly ever drink coffee in real life, so this just seems bizarre to me. Thank goodness for decafe. Has that ever really been stated before?!
Symptoms: Strangely, I've noticed my thumbnails are super dry and striated but I've been assured it's normal. Heartburn flare ups but not nearly as bad as my pregnancy with Brielana so I feel like I can't even complain. My face has rounded out. And I have thee faintest linea negro line which I've been wondering if it was going to show up or not and finally made an appearance. A general feeling of being over pregnancy and just wanting to hold our son already! 
Highlight of the Month: I set up the bassinet next to our bed and hand-washed all the bedding and it's gotten us one step closer to baby!
I'm 99% sure we have a name! More details to come ;)
Scoring a Graco travle system during Prime Day for only $102 big ones. I was searching all day (starting at 6:30a!) and had two options that were similar models and the one we finally had in the cart ended without our knowing. I almost shat myself. I don't think I ever felt so sick in my life. But miracles of miracles the other deal still stuck and we got our travel system! I'm not cut out for timed deals I always get too upset and emotionally involved, haha.
Month 8 Bumpdate {Baby Boy}
Week 32
Month 8 Bumpdate {Baby Boy}
Week 33

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