September 2017 Archive

Making A Statement

Earrings: c/o Brynn Hudson || Jeans Jacket || Jumpsuit (old similar here) || Shoes || Bracelets || Necklace

Happy (Mommy) Monday everyone! I don’t know about you, but these few weeks before the chaos of the holidays start to set in are my absolute favorite. It’s like the calm before the storm if you will.  I also love the weather in September and early October, it is cool enough to throw on a jacket, but still warm enough that you don’t have to bundle up.

I also love that this season we are seeing tons of statement jewelry pieces and while I have always loved large statement necklaces (with the right outfit of course),  I have always been a little leery when it comes to oversized earrings. However, lately, I have found myself eyeing tons of oversized earrings including this fun style from Brynn Hudson.  There is something about adding a statement pieces of jewelry to your outfit that  just makes you want to go out to a fancy dinner or a party with friends.  The piece can instantly elevate even the most causal t-shirt and jeans to the next level.

If you haven’t heard of Brynn Hudson before, you should definitely head over to their website to see the full collection of not only earrings, but necklaces and bracelets too.  And, as always don’t forget to head over to see how my other favorite and fashionable mamma bloggers styled their pieces.




 Oh, and you might notice one name is missing from the usual MommyMonday list, that’s because Katie had her beautiful baby girl a week ago.  If you want to see incredibility cute baby photos (as well as some of the most incredible DIY before and after’s) head over to her Instagram and blog!  Enjoy the week!

(Thank you to Brynn Hudson for the beautiful earrings!  All thoughts and opinions on this post are my own.)

xo Ali
Baby Eleanor’s Birth Story

(photo by Cadence Kennedy) 

Monday marked seven sweet weeks with baby Eleanor.  In some ways it seems like it went by in a flash and in other ways it seems like the days and nights have been moving at a snail’s pace.  Someone once told me during the baby and toddler stage the days are long but the years are short, and that sums it up perfectly.  I have been wanting to share Ellie’s birth story with you all for a few weeks now, but each time I sat down to write it I would, without fail, get interrupted by a toddler needing to use the potty or wanting me to read her a book, or a newborn crying to be fed or changed.  So, while both kids are down for the night (for now…) it seems like the perfect time type this all up.

Just a little background, from the first doctor’s appointment where we found out we were expecting baby number two Brian and I had it in our heads that I would be induced just like I was with Addison.  I was not allowed to go much past 39 weeks due to being a type I diabetic and so I just assumed that I would not go into labor naturally before then.  With Addison I was in the hospital a full 24 hours before she was born, and I  actively pushed for about four hours.  It was the hardest thing I have ever done.  The first time around my whole body was already exhausted even before I had to start pushing, and at some point a c-section was off the table due to her being too far down, so Addison was pulled out with the help of forceps.  The doctor on call was absolutely amazing and in the end Addison was the most perfect baby I had ever seen.

Flash forward to this pregnancy I was pretty much dreading delivery.  I was dreading a recovery that would be painful and  wouldn’t allow me to sit on anything but pillow for over a month (I had an episiotomy with Addison that was no walk in the park). I tried to stay positive and just hoped my body would have another plan and this baby would decide to arrive on her own without medical intervention.

I started weekly appointments at 30 weeks and each weekly appointment everything stayed pretty status quo.  While she was always measuring two or so weeks ahead nothing else was out of the ordinary. By the time 36 weeks rolled around I was feeling as if every time I stood up the baby was going to fall out.  I’m pretty sure everyone, including my doctor thought I was just being dramatic, but I honestly didn’t ever remember that feeling with Addison.  Things were progressing very slowly and I was even told by my doctor he would feel OK waiting until 40 weeks to discuss induction.  While I was happy for the good report I could not imagine another four weeks feeling like this.

At just over 38 weeks I woke up on a Sunday morning a decided to start timing my contractions for what felt like the hundredth time.  They were erratic, some 5 minutes apart, some 20.  We had a pretty packed Sunday which included an early birthday celebration for my dad so we went on our day as usual.  It wasn’t until I was at my parents and we were in the middle of my dad’s birthday dinner that the pain picked up.  I tried to play it cool with my family but they convinced me I should call the OB’s service line and see what they say.  By the time my  OB called back I had crawled into bed and turned on Netflix ready to wait it out for the night and head into my doctor’s appointment the following afternoon.   However, she said that I should take a ride into labor and delivery because of all the pressure I was feeling.  She told me that if I was any more dilated than I was last Monday (a little more than 3cm) they would keep me, and if not, I could go home and follow-up at my regular weekly appointment.  The pain had lessened  bit but I was still feeling a ton of contractions.  So, we got dressed and I called my mother in law to have her come sit with Addison, but I was pretty positive that I would home in an hour or two.

After arriving at the hospital and getting settled into a triage room I was actually feeling a little silly that I was there.  When the on call resident walked in gave me an exam I was in complete shock that she said I was 5cm along and that our baby girl was on her way!  The rush of emotion at 11:30 at night was pretty crazy.  I was in such shock that it was actually happening and that I was not being induced.  Finally after 9 months of waiting to meet our baby girl it was hard to wrap my head around the fact that she would be here soon.

The rest of the evening and birth was pretty uneventful.  I didn’t have the fastest labor int he world but it only took about five hours from the time they broke my water until she arrived.  I did get an epidural (any mammas who go without pain meds are my heroes!), and I started pushing at around 6am and Eleanor arrived at 6:36am.  What I was not expecting was a 10lbs 4oz baby!  Prior to being admitted my mom and I talked about how big we thought she would be.  Since I was about 10 days early I was guessing high 7’s low 8’s, so boy were we off.  When they took Eleanor over to the scale to get weighed I remember my OB laughing and coming back to the table asking “how big was your first daughter again?”  The next thing I knew I saw the anesthesiologist walk into the room and heard him loudly say, “wow that’s a 10lber!”  Then I heard Brian chuckle and say, “wow, 10lbs 4oz…man.”  I really couldn’t believe it.  I know 10lb babies are born all the time, but I was just convinced she was going to be smaller.  (Also, if any of you are wondering it likely had very little to do with my diabetes.  My A1C, which is a three-month average off your blood glucose levels, was 5.6 which is about  what it would be if you were not a diabetic at all.  So Eleanor was just a big girl and really long).

I was also thrilled because while I knew Eleanor would be taken directly to the NICU for observation purposes, the NICU pediatrician  allowed her to stay with me for a full hour.  With Addison I only had about 10 minutes.  The rest of the hospital stay is kind of blur and while all of the labor and delivery staff as well as the staff on the recovery floor was absolutely amazing it is very hard to be comfortable while in the hospital.   I was really just looking forward to getting home and starting life as a family of four.

While I won’t go into full detail about my recovery process I have to say it was a million times easier the second time around.  Maybe it was because I knew what to expect but it also probably had to do with the length of my labor.  If anyone has particular questions about this feel free to email me or shoot me a Facebook or Instagram message.  I am more than happy to answer anything you want to know.  I really wish I was more prepared for the recovery process the first time around but you live you learn, right?

Just like Brian and I went from having one beautiful daughter to having two beautiful daughters.  As a first time mom it was exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time because I had no idea what to expect.  With every new phase you learn something new about yourself as a parent and about your child as a little human.  The second time around it is just as exciting and nerve wracking, but not because you feel unprepared, but because you wonder if you can parent two at the same time, or love two the same amount.   I’m sure along the way I will learn how to navigate all these emotions, and as far as loving them, your heart seems to grow a million times larger once you bring another child into the world.  Even with all of these what ifs I’m so thankful that I get to figure it all out while watching two of the most beautiful, funny and inspiring baby girls grow up.

xo Ali

Our Maternity + Family Photos

(photos by Cadence Kennedy)

My Dress 

Happy Friday everyone! This week went by so fast but I am happy that the weekend has arrived and we are getting ready to spend the last bit of summer with our family at our beach house on the east end of Long Island.  The weather already has the crispness in the air, but we are going to enjoy the last few days of sun, sand and the pool while we can.  Anyway, I thought it was about time I shared some of my most favorite photos with you, our maternity photos.  When I look at the photos now it’s hard to believe that the baby that was curled up cooking inside my belly has been in our lives for over six weeks now. I also feel incredibly justified in the fact that my belly was the size of an overinflated beach ball, because Eleanor was over 10bs!

When we took these photos I was still wondering how my labor would go, how it would be t bring another sweet girl into our family and how our life would have to adjust and change as we started on our journey as a family of four.  Now that much of that is behind us (although we are still adjusting and learning everyday), I think to myself that all that anxiety and worry was for nothing because now that Eleanor is home it seems like she has been here all along.

The day we were scheduled to take the photos I had been feeling contractions on and off all day and I was hoping I could make it through an hour long photo session on my feet.  As we were getting ready to leave the house to meet the photographer I was feeling so swollen and unattractive that I wasn’t too optimistic about how these would turn out and I was also hoping that Addison would be on her best behavior, which with a toddler is always hit or miss.   Despite a few tantrums on Addison’s end, and the fact that it was like 100 degrees out, the end result were these beautiful photos.  Our photographer Cadence knew just how to capture these special moments for us and I wish I could share the whole gallery with you because it was so hard to pick only a few favorites.

I am so glad that we have this moment in time documented to look back on.  When the girls are too old to want to be held, or too old for me to be calling them my “babies”, I can look back on these photos and remember how this was such an exciting time in our lives and remember how we felt as we watched our family grow.

I didn’t want to end this post without acknowledging the devastating events that have happened in Texas over the past week.  Hurricane Harvey has taken so much from so many and I wanted to leave you with a link to a list of resources where you can help with the recovery efforts.  If you watched my insta stories earlier this week you know the Texas Diaper Bank is accepting donations.  They also have a wish list on Amazon where you can send diapers and other items directly.  You can find a bunch of other places to donate here.  Sending prayers to all the families effected by Harvey as we head into the weekend.

xo Ali

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