Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Card 2016

Well its that time of year again, when all your friends and family, near and far, send their love in a holiday card.  Some will send a random candid taken at some point in the last year.  Others a generic bi fold card.  Then there are those who go all out and book the photographer, plan the outfits, and sweat it out for a couple hours until the photographer says "we've got it!".  

I fall into that category of trying to get the perfect shot.  Mostly its the perfect time of year to book family photos, I get a Christmas card photo and Leavitt's birthday is close by so I get his yearly picture at the same time.  My multitasking means that the husband's arm is easily twisted into submission and I get the family photos my little photo hoarding heart desires.  

This year I had an almost three year old, an eight week old, and my husband to style and keep happy.  Not to mention my eight week postpartum bod wasn't exactly begging for a photo shoot.  With the odds stacked against me, I booked the session with my talented gal pal Danielle Brady, ordered my dress, organized the guys outfits and threw up a hail Mary.  

On the way out the door I caught Leavitt rubbing white nail polish and lotion allover his body.  In a fluster I forgot pull-ups and could smell poop half way there.  I ended up using an infant diaper on my two year old and hoping for the best.  We took them at Piper Mountain and within five minutes Danielle showed me a card worthy photo on the back of her camera to ease my nerves.  Leavitt really let his crazy hang out and gave her all the sass a tiny person could contain.  How she managed to snag good pictures is beyond me.  I live for the blooper pictures so she always snaps away when things go rogue, but this was one time I was worried we may not have many happy candids.  

Of course she delivered and I have silly happy family photos, a card worthy photo, and plenty of good old bloopers that make me smile.  I honestly love that she captured these last two of Nick and I giving our signature "are you serious" looks... I am saving these so that some day our boys will look at them and make fun of us the way we make fun of them now.  I love our card and while I am going to save that just for those special people on my mailing list, I hope you all savor the moments of crazy that make up your days.  It is so easy to only share the card worthy moments, its the mayhem in the middle that makes up our lives.  I always am so encouraged when Danielle shows me the perfect shot because amongst the chaos is the perfection I strive for even if I can't see it, but the crazy eye rolling, frustrating and real moments are what our life is made of and honestly they are not only so funny they are so much better than the card because it is who we really are.  Happy Holidays, friends! We love the real you!!!XOXO

Friday, December 9, 2016

Holidays with Nuby

Tis the season to be on the go, and living by the seat of your mom pants.  We have been so busy preparing for the holidays and all the fun that comes with being a parent this time of year.  I have to say that while I like to make things look perfect and magical, it feels frazzled and messy most of the time.  Can I also just say that schools and daycares always seem to take a break when I need the help the most! What is that?! Some weird cosmic joke the universe plays on us when we have even more on our plate!  I have a few new little things making my life so much easier I can't wait to share with you!

We had the amazing Danielle Brady lined up for Christmas card photos, that usually double as Leavitt's yearly pictures since it is so close to this birthday.  He basically turned his crazy on and acted like a tiny monster at the tree farm.  Of course we had to take breaks so that sweet baby P could eat.  I am bottle feeding and during our little break she snapped a picture of me feeding him with Nuby's new comfort 360 plus bottles.  These bottles are brand new and will be launching at Babies R us' January 2017.  They are anti reflux and colic (no baby puke on my dress, or sad gas faces for the camera!)  There is a weighted straw in the bottle that pops out when your baby no longer has reflux symptoms.  My little guy doesn't have reflux but he has been very congested thanks to big bro bringing home all the germs.  The Straw allows for upright feeding which is recommended for reflux  but also is great for stuffy noses!  Who wants to drink milk laying down with post nasal drip... no one.  I also love the straw because the weighted part of the straw sounds like a blender ball when you shake it which to my surprise, it had the same effect of a blender ball and left no lumps of formula in the bottle after shaking! Easy convenient feeding is invaluable to us.  As a formula feeding mama, I often get asked if other relatives can feed him... which I hate to share this duty.  So much of his day revolves around his brother that feeding him is our special quiet time.  As much effort as I put into being the one to feed him, I also need the process to be fairly effortless.  After all motherhood should be working smarter not harder right? I also can't give the toddler tyrant any extra time to really mess things up for me! 

|| Plate || Utensils ||

Speaking of toddlers and messes, I love that he can share meals with us now.  He really loves eating dinner with us as a family.  He especially loves having dinner with extended family because being the center of attention, and having free range to try new foods is his jam.  Lately he has this adorable fascination with cutting his own food.  We enrolled him in a Montessori program, and have watched him blossom with independence.  I go between really loving his independence and having a mini stroke over the mess.  I feel like I am watching a slow motion horror film while he eats simultaneously talking with his hands.  There is an actual stain on our ceiling from a breakfast gone wrong.  Recently I started letting him use a small, more importantly dull, knife to encourage his new skill, and a suctioned plate to avoid his plate slipping while he cuts his food.  Holy crap, what an invention! This super cute, easy to use plate, sticks to the table as he moves around while he eats.  Leavitt isn't one of those kids who would pick up his plate and toss it, but he is fairly self unaware as he spins around and talks with his hands.  I love this thing so much I found one shaped like a bear while shopping at TJ Maxx and bought another one for his Santa bag!

Although I love traveling to see family to worst part for sure with a new baby is that there is never the same comforts of home.  He loves his seats and laying flat on the floor.  He also loves playing with soft toys he can put in his mouth.  I end up holding him most of the time we are with family and he tends to get his tiny little fingers tangled in my necklace.  When I got the teething necklaces I was kind of wondering at what point they would be a good idea for him, and the answer quickly became right now!  When I am holding him for extended periods of time he can hold this soft silicone necklace instead of my gold one which hurts his little fingers.  He sucks on it and tugs on it.  I love that I can wear it as part of my outfit but that it serves a purpose for him as well.

|| Necklace ||

We are loving getting out and seeing everyone this holiday season! I love watching my babies be loved by our families, and I love baby gear that makes getting out stylish, enjoyable and fun! I hope you guys sang some of these awesome things for your kiddos! They make great stocking stuffers and would be wonderful gifts for grandparents who are lucky enough to babysit!

As if shopping for new baby swag isn't tempting enough Nuby is giving away the bottle starter set to one of my lucky readers!  The pack has four bottles and two pacifiers which is an incredible deal!  To enter find me on Facebook here or Instagram @bringingupleavitt or both for an extra chance to win!  The giveaway will run until December 14th at 10pm EST.  U.S. residents only please.

Good luck & Happy Holidays Mamas!

Bringing up Leavitt is a Nuby parent blogger and was given products in exchange for reviews.  All opinions are and always will be my own.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wedding Dress: Take Two

A couple weeks ago I put my wedding dress on for the first time since our wedding.  A little over a year out from our wedding and a two month old baby later, the dress still fit (yay, for corset backs) and I still loved it as much as the day I bought it.  While it might sound like I am a bit sentimental, the dress left Bar Harbor where we got married and lived its first year of married life in the trunk of my husband's sports car.  Sentimental I am,  kind of.

I had a sweet conversation with the seamstress that altered my dress for the wedding about wanting to trash it.  She was so much fun to work with and suggested we re purpose it into something useful.  My love of all things Christmas and Christmas ornaments had me thinking it needed to be made into something I could bring out and use once a year.

We decided to turn my dress into a Christmas tree skirt, by taking the skirt off the dress and using the satin corset lacing for the ties.  I am so in love with it already, and can't wait to dig it out every year!  Being that I love all things fashion I really hated the idea of having my most special dress sit in some weird box under my bed.  I wanted to give it new life, and I think we did just that!

Now for some of you who have daughters and want to keep it for her to use pieces of, or wear herself that is super cool.  Some other ideas I love would be to have your dress made into a baptism/dedication gown.  Using the satin for the edging or backing of a special blanket.  My dress was tulle, but the under side of the dress was satin and would be adorable on a blanket.  I love the idea of having a table runner made for a dining room table.  You could have a large satin or taffeta  quilt made for the end of your bed.  Anything is better than a dress stuffed in a preservation box, the fashion equivalent of a coffin.

I have been busy buying loads of precious baby things to put under the tree, and cannot wait to gather with my family around the tree while they open their gifts.  I think I will wait until the last minute to cover the tree skirt in gifts so I can look at it in all its blush fluffy glory as long as possible.