Thursday, July 24, 2014

Damian: Three Months

Damian Julio,

Three months! Oh my goodness. Does that mean you're not a newborn anymore? I don't know, but you're definitely becoming more and more like a "real" baby. You're even more talkative and giggly than ever. You love looking at yourself in the mirror. You're starting to reach for things and swat at things. You love tugging at my hair or shirt while nursing. You demand to be in the upright position unless you're eating or napping. You just have to see what's going on around you. Thank goodness I can face you forward in baby carriers now because that's the only way I can get anything done.

This month you went on your first multi-state road trip. We drove to Boston where we spent your first Independence Day. You did a lot better on the car ride than I thought you would.

You also started going to the Kid's Club at my gym. I fibbed and told them you were three months old weeks ago. I was really worried you'd cry and demand to be held the whole time, but they always tell me how good you've been so I'm happy about that.

And you're just so handsome. Lately you've been doing this one-side-of-the-mouth smile and I just melt. I know you're going to be a charmer.

Things you love: You love staring at your sister. You love going for walks outside. You love swimming in the pool. You love cuddling after bath time.

Things you hate: You still hate your car seat. You hate when your daddy coughs or laughs too loudly. You're feeling better about naps and your swing (thank goodness).

As much as I'll miss cuddling with the tiny newborn version of yourself, I'm really excited about the coming stages. I love you baby boy. Thank you for being mine.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Introducing JoyBound Apparel (plus a $50 credit giveaway!)

So I have a blogger buddy who I've been following since I started blogging (three years ago this month!). Her name is Eliza and she blogs at JoyBound (formerly BabyBound). She has two babies around the same ages as mine and she's totally gorgeous:

Welllll, she recently launched her own business. It's called "JoyBound Apparel," and its mission is to remind women to find joy in everything that they do. It encourages women to discover inner beauty and create happiness around them.
You can check out JoyBound products and read about their thoughts on beauty on the website.

You can also enter to win a $50 gift card to JoyBound Apparel here!
All you have to do is follow JoyBound Apparel on Instagram, and like them on Facebook or Twitter for an extra entry. :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tattoo Booth Family Photo Shoot!

While we were in Texas we had another photo shoot with Iliasis Muniz Photography. This time we went for a tattoo booth theme!
Here are a few of my favs:

Monday, July 21, 2014

29/52 {baby/toddler/life updates}

We finally found a beach! Sort of. It's a Potomac River beach with what I think is imported sand. It's obviously not a substitute for the ocean but it's only a few miles from our house and Eva had a blast. Next time we go I'll bring my camera to take pictures of it with something other than my phone. 
I love that little smile.

We finally got bar stools for our little breakfast bar thingie. Eva loves eating her "cheereals," as she calls it.
We had a few two-year-old meltdowns. Sometimes I like to take pictures even though it makes her even more frustrated. I'll show them to her if/when she has kids of her own.
Video of the Week:
1. Eva tracing letters. We've finally had time to work on them lately. I found these awesome dry-erase books on Amazon. We bought tracing letters, tracing numbers, and tracing shapes.
2. I caught Eva putting stickers all over Damian's face when I wasn't looking.
3. Just some baby babble.
12 weeeks! Wow. I'm pretty sure Damian has recently completed a learning leap. He can do a lot more things with his voice and he's always using it. He has also been sucking on his fists nonstop. Sometimes he even stops nursing so that he can suck on his fists instead. I hope it's not teething. Eva didn't get any teeth until she was 9 or 10 months old (I don't even remember anymore! Gah!). Other than that, he got to go in the pool a few times this week, which he loved. It was a good week for us.
Check out this adorable bib I found on GroopDealz! I'm obsessed with bandana bibs.
Lots of cuddles:
And here's a picture of Eva's brother design:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I Support Breastfeeding in Public

There have been a few articles floating around about breastfeeding in public (like this one). A friend of mine recently told me she doesn't feel comfortable nursing in public, and that she has gone to a bathroom to nurse before. This bothered me in a way that I can't explain... Not that she nursed in a bathroom, but that she felt so uncomfortable about nursing in public that a public restroom seemed like a better option.

I'm glad to have had a great experience with breastfeeding in public so far. The first time I did it I was in Virginia Beach. Damian was about three weeks old and I was wearing him in my Ergo carrier. I just lifted up my shirt and let him nurse while watching Eva and taking pictures of my husband surfing. A man came up to me and was like, "Wow! I have to tell my wife about this. She'd love you. You're like, super mom!"  The next day at the beach without the carrier and I fed him again, without a cover. I didn't own a cover at that point and didn't have much of a choice. I never, ever thought I'd be that woman. I guess since we were at the beach, sitting in a chair under a tent I didn't think it was a big deal. I felt completely comfortable.
But a few weeks later I found myself sightseeing in DC with the kids and family. I found a tree to sit under, wrapped a nursing cover around my shoulder, and began to nurse. Damian wanted nothing to do with it. I couldn't blame him. It was 90+ degrees outside and he was probably wondering why I was putting a blanket over his head. So I said, "F*ck it," and took the cover off. To my surprise, I felt completely comfortable with my decision again, even after getting one (just one) dirty look from a woman in her 30's.

It's not that I used to think that women should cover up while nursing in public- I just understood where people were coming from when they insisted it. But now?
I think it's completely ridiculous.
And I think it's really depressing that there are women out there afraid to nurse their baby in a public area even with a cover.

I'd like to convince them that they shouldn't care what strangers think about it, even though I shouldn't have to. When I lived in Tanzania, not only were women nursing in public (without a cover) all over the place, I frequently came across artwork celebrating it.
And I kind of think it's up to us, breastfeeding mothers, to change people's minds in the United States. If we don't breastfeed in public, people will never see it, and they will go around the same mindset that breastfeeding in public is not the norm. That only crazy hippies do it, or something.

Even if you're not a crazy hippy, even if you are a bit shy, or whatever your reason, I encourage you (ask you even) to nurse in public whenever you find yourself in that situation.
Don't go to your car. Don't go to the bathroom. Just nurse when your baby asks.
If not for you, then for womankind.

Or if you're not breastfeeding, whether you ever have or not, encourage a woman you see doing so.
Even if it's just a smile or thumbs up.
I've even seen thank you notes.

Don't just ask for change. Be the change. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mommy Blogger Collective: H E A T

I always hear people complain about people who complain about both the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer. Well I am not one of those people. I was made for the heat. I'll take 365 days of squinting in the sunshine and feeling the sweat roll just moments after leaving my doorstep without hesitation. I'll even take South Texas heat- the kind that sticks to you in an awful sort of way.

As long as you keep the cold away. 
Cold means wetsuits and layers. 

Heat means bikinis and sunscreen.
And finding refuge in the ocean (or river or lake or waterfall or whatever else is around).

I don't know where I'm going with this, but I do want to be on the record:
It's the middle of July, and I don't have a single complaint.

I now reserve the right to grumble when winter rolls around.

"Heat" is the July writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Renee of oh renée.
A few words from Renée --- Oh Renée started as a creative outlet for me a few years ago, a happy place to share creative and fun projects or fashion. Since then, it has evolved into one of the best things I could ever have done with my time! The last few years of blogging have become much more personal to me- more of a way to document this life of mine, with my husband, with my little boy and with the world around me. I enjoy sharing glimpses into our days and sharing in other mom’s lives as well, as part of this wonderful world of social media. Being a mother is better than anything I could have expected! Truly. I call Ohio my home, I keep the joy of traveling and exploring new places close to my heart, i spend my evenings knitting and am never without a book in my hand or in my purse. My blog is much of the same! You can find me on Instagram at 

 /// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. ///

28/52 {baby/toddler/life updates}

Just a quick update... I've still been spending all my computer time going through pictures to delete/move to my external hard drive. 

This week Daniel has been working with Eva on her swimming more. I finally got to see Eva go underwater and swim to the steps, which was pretty cool. The pool has been wearing her out so much that this week, for the first time, she put herself to sleep in her own bed for a nap. I usually have to wear her in my kitenge to get her to go to sleep and then lay her down in my bed, but not that time. Crazy! My little princess is growing up so quickly.

Damian is starting to fall into a nice little sleeping schedule again. I've been putting him down in a bassinet next to our bed at about 8:30. He wakes up at around 1:30 and actually lets me put him back in the bassinet after he finishes eating. Then around 4:00 he wakes up again but I usually just fall back asleep after he nurses and let him stay in bed with me for the cuddles. We both get up and go downstairs around 7:00 but he crashes back out for another half hour after his long morning nursing session and I get to run on my treadmill. :)

Damian just loves the pool!

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