Baby Shower En Blanc for the Andersons

About a month ago, we were honored to throw the Andersons a baby shower for their little one Austin {who joined the world on just a few weeks ago}! I offered to throw Jess a shower last fall, not totally realizing how much more work it would be to host a party with a brand-new baby, but I did all of the planning before Daphne was born and it worked out pretty well!

Jess had requested an “En Blanc” party, so the theme was super easy: white. I pinned lots of different things, but wanted to keep things simple, both décor and food. Most of the décor I got from Etsy, but everything is linked below for those who have asked. There were tons of babies and it was so wonderful to see so many friends.

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{Popcorn favors}

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{Guess how many candies in the jar & the winner gets the entire thing!}

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{Wishes for Baby Austin}

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{The dessert bar!}

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{Thanks to Cale, the father-to-be, for helping get this donut cake together!}

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{Eloise, Daphne, and Jaz before the party!}

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{These two girls had the BEST time!}

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{All of the MAMAS! Such an amazing group of women.}

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{All of the “new” Papas!}

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{Oh brother, those papas…}

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{The Andersons!}

{photos by Jess // Ready to Pop favor stickers: Kaspi Party Etsy Shop // small white picture frames: Michael’s // white clipboard frame: Target // art: Soeurette, my mama // lidded glass vase: Michael’s // small flower bouquets: Michael’s // Oh Boy banner: Ur Invited Too Etsy Shop // LOVE sign: Target (old) // Wishes for Baby cards: DIY // white balloons: Display and Costume // tissue tassels: DIY // menu card: DIY // Oh Boy cake topper: Foiled Prints // mini cupcakes: Trophy (vanilla-vanilla)}

Congratulations Jess, Cale, and big sister Jazmyne!

M

daphne {week 8}

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{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // overalls: babyGap (similar) // onesie: crewcuts // booties: June and January}

{week 8} Holy cow, 8 weeks already?!

Daphne is such a sweet little spirit and has been showing us so many smiles as of late, including during this week’s photoshoot. She definitely has her unhappy moments (and the cutest sad face!) but she is generally very happy.

We are still nursing six times per day for about 40 minutes (20 on each side) and she is the noisiest! Except for her first and last feeding, she is “talking” most of the time that she nurses. She is also pretty noisy when she is sleeping too – groaning and moaning in the wee morning hours!

While she is still giving us a nice long stretch of sleep at night (at least 7 hours), she has started to fuss between about 4 and 6 am. Almost always she has lost her pacifier and as soon as it is back in her mouth, she is good. Once she is really sleeping, her paci drops out and she doesn’t (generally) need it to stay asleep. But, since my guess is that she is a pretty  light sleeper during this short morning stretch, she very frequently needs help with her paci, so the hours right before I get up with her for our first feeding aren’t very restful (for me at least!). I have been trying to take a nap at least a couple of days a week in the afternoon if I can get both girls down at the same time which helps, especially since I “need” 9+ hours of sleep! Maybe someday…

Daphne is also really gassy, as compared to Eloise at this age, which our ped told us is super common for babies this age so we aren’t worried at all, but she definitely fusses over it sometimes until she can let it out. I also wonder whether her morning fussiness is due to gas?

This girl loves (loves) her hands. She is still in newborn-mode with her hands though and they are almost always tight in a fist. But if she can, she will attempt to stick her entire fist in her mouth. Usually that’s a sign that she wants a paci, but sometimes I let her suck on her hands since that is the way she is naturally self-soothing. Not sure if we want to encourage hand (or eventually fingers or thumb) sucking, but I hate to prevent her from soothing in that way. And speaking of her hands, she always has lint and fuzz in her hands! I don’t know where she gets so much of it, but every feeding I open her hands (or wait for them to open towards the end of her feeding which is a sign of being full) and pick the lint out. We call her The Lint Smuggler.

And finally, Daphne is finally not crying thru diaper or clothes changes. She still doesn’t love having a shirt or a onesie put over her head, but she won’t cry much anymore, whereas before, every single diaper or clothing change was accompanied with tears. The saddest.

Daphne has her 8 week check-up (and first set of shots) this morning so I will share all that info for her two month update next week!

See Eloise in this same outfit here. Babies in overalls are the BEST!

Happy 8 weeks Daphne!

M

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project baby #2 {newborn & post-partum essentials}

This time around I felt so much more prepared for post-partum life with a newborn (though the toddler is throwing a bit of a curveball!), but there are a few new things that I have found especially helpful these first weeks! {See my past newborn and post-partum essentials.}

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ONE. Milk Saver. This is something that was shared by a  good mama friend and that I never would have bought or tried without a personal recommendation. You basically stick it into your bra on the opposite side that you are feeding on, and it catches the milk that you would otherwise leak (or let-down) into a nursing pad or bra. It doesn’t seem like much, but especially when I have gone a long time between feeds (like first thing in the morning after going all night) I can get half an ounce to three-quarters just from one side! Then I add this milk to the milk I am pumping, and since we are still only doing a one-and-a-half ounce bottle each evening, it makes a difference. One thing to note is that it’s foremilk (and not hindmilk) so it won’t fill baby up as well, but I would rather Daphne drink it than it all be wasted.

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TWO. Pumping Bra. If you are going to pump, you might as well pump both sides (there are some exceptions to this) and it really sucks if you have to hold the pumps onto your breasts (haha, pun intended!). I have used this pumping bra for both girls, and even if you don’t use this exact one, get one if you are planning on pumping at all. These bras make pumping hands-free which is amazing; my first pumping session a few weeks ago I didn’t know where this bra was and it was the longest 15 minutes of my life! Plus, When I am pumping, it is total mama time and I give myself full permission to zone out on Facebook or Instagram.

LilyPadz

THREE. LilyPadz. Nursing pads, especially in these early days and weeks, are super important. I used the reusable Bamboobie ones (and still do at nighttime) but these LilyPadz are a game-changer! They are sticky silicone pads that basically prevent leaks between feedings (unless there is a LOT of milk leaking!). My advice would be to wait a week or two after birth before starting them because your nipples will be super tender and maybe a little raw. Plus, if you are using any type of ointment or cream, these are a no-go.

FOUR. Lactation cookies. There are some foods that are supposed to increase milk supply, a few of them being rolled oats, Brewer’s Yeast, and flaxseed. And it just so happens that if you add these things to a chocolate chip cookie dough, you get chocolate chip cookies that help you lactate! I tend to always have a sweet tooth post-partum so I don’t have any problem eating a few of these thru-out the day! {We call them “Mama’s special milk bars” at our house so that Eloise doesn’t realize that I am actually eating cookies all day long… though I think she might be catching on.}

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups of thick cut oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons Brewer’s Yeast

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flaxseed meal and water; set aside 3 to 5 minutes.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Stir flaxseed mix into butter mix and add vanilla. Beat until well-blended.

Sift dry ingredients, except oats and chocolate chips. Add butter to dry ingredients. Stir in oats and then chocolate chips.

Drop on parchment paper on baking sheet. Bake 8 to 12 minutes.

*recommendation to eat 4 or more per day!

FIVE. Sleeper gowns. We had a few of these with Eloise, but I don’t remember them being as helpful as they are this time around. I basically mean a nightgown that has snaps or a zipper for easy diaper changes in the middle of the night. It is hard enough to change a newborn’s diaper with any outfit on since you are doing it so frequently, but in the middle of the night (or even a sleep deprived day) a simple in-snap is much-needed.

SIX. Gloves. Also another thing we didn’t use with Eloise. Maybe it is because we started trimming her nails earlier? But, we used gloves on Daphne for the first five weeks since her little nails grew so quickly (and were so sharp!) and the in-hospital pediatrician recommended we don’t trim her nails for the first few weeks since the nails are basically fused to the skin at that point. A lot of newborn tops and outfits have built-in gloves which is super helpful, but I would still recommend picking up a pair!

June and January Booties

SEVEN. June and January booties. Eloise was born in the summer (during our hottest month) so socks weren’t really a thing we worried about until she was quite a bit older. But, since it was still pretty cool in March, I did worry about Daphne’s feet being too cold. I picked up these June and January booties (because they were impossibly cute!) with a clothing order before Daphne was born, and quickly found out these booties were perfect in lieu of socks! They have Velcro and are actually small enough around the ankle to stay on Daphne’s feet (which is the big issue with socks for babies). I ended up ordering another couple of pairs because I was so happy with them and Daphne was wearing them (and still does) every day.

EIGHT. Swaddle blankets. We probably have ten or fifteen swaddle blankets (at least!) that have accumulated from the time Eloise was born. They make great gifts and are actually really useful as a make-shift nursing cover, burp cloth, car seat cover, etc. and, for swaddling! Both of our babies have loved/needed to be swaddled for soothing and sleeping, and even though we use a zipper swaddle at night (we have been using this one with Daphne) we use a blanket a lot during the day which is why they are all over the house! This grey one from Lou Lou & Co is my absolute favorite though because it is super soft, a little stretchy, and makes for a great swaddled baby! I think it may become my go-to baby shower gift.

What were your essentials?

M

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my weekend in pictures.

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{Eloise’s Easter grass is growing SO fast! We finally gave them a haircut on Friday morning.}

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{Gimme all the babies!}

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{We met up for a playdate with Amanda and Elliott at Maple Leaf Park since it was such a beautiful, sunny day on Friday! Of course the kids needed a snack break.}

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{Our rhodie is finally blooming and it is SO gorgeous!}

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{Sunny afternoons call for sidewalk chalk after naptime and spending as much time as possible outside before Mama has to make dinner.}

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{There are many “wrap naps” these days when Mama has to get something done and Daphne insists on only sleeping when being held. I know I will miss this in a few months so I am trying to soak up every minute!}

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{Time on the play mat is starting to become a regular thing and Daphne is pretty happy about it (most of the time).}

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{Got a ThredUp bag to help me start organizing my closet that I started tearing apart a few weeks ago. Hopefully I can generate some funds so that I can pick up a few spring/summer pieces I have had my eye on!}

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{Saturday night Aaron went out with his brother Ben, so I flew solo for bedtime for the first time. It went way better than I expected, though my expectations were very low (haha). And after big sister was down, I cuddled up with this little one and watched Moana!}

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{Eloise is all about her memory game and Aaron obliged in playing it with her this afternoon for the umpteenth time. She’s actually really good!}

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{Tummy time!}

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{Eloise and Papa cuddles after naptime.}

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{A post-Barre trip to TJ’s. Shopping by yourself when you have little kids is like a dream!}

We had the most gorgeous, sunny, and warm day on Friday and spent nearly every minute of it outside (except for during naptime, of course) which was followed by a weekend filled almost entirely of rain… I guess that’s called spring in the PNW! You would think I would be used to this by now seeing as I have lived in Seattle for 12 years (eek!).

There were a lot of “firsts” for our family this weekend: my first solo bedtime with the girls, my first post-partum Pure Barre class (I am going to be SO sore!), and Aaron’s first solo time watching both girls. It’s still sometimes hard to believe we are a family of four, but we are getting into our new normal and it feels good!

How was your weekend?

M

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daphne {newborn and family photos}

Happy Friday! I will at some point get back to my standard Friday I’m in Love posts but today I wanted to share Daphne’s newborn photoshoot! {I wanted to wait until I knew which photos we were using for Daphne’s birth announcement before sharing here. Our good (and very talented) friend Brenda designed the announcements – she did Eloise’s too! – and I just sent them to the printer so I hope to have them in the mail by the end of the month or sooner!}

Daphne was almost a week old when these photos were taken, and in lieu of doing a traditional newborn one (like I did with Eloise), I opted for a family shoot that was at our house so that we could get professional photos of our new family of four and I wouldn’t have to leave the house (HUGE bonus since with Eloise I trekked way down south to Tacoma!). And while I do love the look of Eloise’s posed newborn shots, I really am loving the more relaxed (non-staged) feel of our shoot this time around.

A few random notes: Daphne looks so different in some of the pictures here, almost like an entirely different baby (which is totally true with all newborns!); even though the last thing you want to do is drag yourself and your brand-new baby to a photoshoot, you should do it, even if it isn’t a professional and just someone with a nice (not a phone) camera take a few pictures (you will cherish them later!); and (related) if you are ever on the fence about getting professional photos taken (we usually get ours done for Christmas cards each year), do it (it’s expensive, but I have never, ever regretted it!).

If you are in the Seattle area and are looking for a professional photographer (for babies, weddings, etc.) I highly recommend Meg! She was so sweet, and amazingly talented, and I am so IN LOVE with these photos.

{Prepare for photo overload since I definitely could not choose just a few to share! Deciding which ones to have printed is agonizing…}

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Wearing: {Eloise: jeans: Gap Kids // bow: A Little Lady Shop} {Daphne: grey swaddle blanket: Lou Lou & Co // silver swaddle blanket: Aden & Anais} {Misha: chambray dress: Madewell (similar)} {Aaron: shirt: J.Crew (old) // jeans: Bonobos}

Have a great weekend!

M

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daphne {week 7}

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{letterboard: Letter Folk (Poet) // tee: Carter’s (old) // leggings: babyGap (old) // bunny ears: Target}

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{And this week’s outtake! Their faces are hilarious!}

{week 7} This past weekend was Daphne’s first Easter and as you can see from the photos, she was pretty happy about it! Because of her March birthday (barely!) I think of her as a spring baby, but she really is a winter one. That said, spring is on the way here in Seattle and I am excited to not have to bundle her up so much when we go out!

Daphne’s eyebrows are finally coming in and the color changes based on the lighting. They generally look blonde, but when she is in the sun, they look red! Aaron and I both have red undertones in our hair and Eloise has red in her hair (in the sun), so it isn’t a surprise that Daphne would have red, but I am just so surprised about it being in her eyebrows! She is the cutest person to ever have dark hair and light eyebrows!

Since I mentioned it a few weeks ago, Daphne’s skin is much less dry and flaky which is nice because she was shedding everywhere (which kind of freaked me out). It is super normal for newborns, but I just wasn’t expecting it. And while there are no signs of cradle cap (I think it was just dry skin on her scalp) Daphne does have a bit of baby acne. It is mostly on her cheeks and not horrible. I think it is just hormones and not a reaction to what she is getting thru my breastmilk; if it becomes worse though I may try to cut out dairy to see if that helps since dairy sensitivity is pretty common in newborns.

We are getting a lot of smiles these days from Daphne and not just gassy ones. She will respond to voices and faces and likes to be tickled. That sweet little smile is the best! And she has a dimple in her right cheek.

I mentioned also last week that Daphne is up for about 30 minutes during her “wake” time, but that wasn’t really right. She has been awake for the past few weeks for closer to an hour which has been a good change. While I love, love having a sleepy little newborn, it is also fun to have her awake and starting to interact with us and her world. I have been introducing tummy time slowly on her play mat or across my lap (she already can push up off of my chest when I hold her upright) and shake a toy or rattle to get her to look up and rotate her head. She is also liking her play mat for laying on her back and staring at the toys and even batting them with her hands.

Finally, Daphne is starting to fill out and fits into her 0 to 3 month clothes now! And actually her 0 to 3 month tops and onesies are almost looking too small, especially if I pair a onesie with a cloth diaper since they add so much bulk. But with bottoms, she still fits into her newborn pants, including the tiny newborn ones that are “up to 7 pounds.” She still has a pretty small waist and little, scrawny legs and arms, but filling in in her belly.

Happy 7 weeks Daphne!

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{Grammie and Eloise at the tulip fields.}

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{So many tulips. It is gorgeous!}

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{Oh my gosh that squishy face. She sometimes makes me want a newborn all day every day forever!}

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{Dyeing Easter eggs with Grammie. Not surprisingly purple was her favorite dye color!}

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{A grocery store run with Grammie and Daphne. It is so nice to have two adults when shopping so I can take the car seat in the stroller. We also got an entire cart full of plants!}

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{Grammie planting my front pots – thanks Mama! – and Eloise perfecting her bubble blowing.}

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{The Easter bunny came early to the Lower house and brought Eloise some of her own gardening tools. So of course she had to try them out!}

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{My beautiful pots all planted for spring!}

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{And Eloise helping water my new peony plant. Apparently she didn’t think the spout was fast enough!}

{“Happy Easter” from Eloise!}

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{Outtake from Daphne’s weekly photo. Sisters are the best you guys!}

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{Papa and Daphne. It kills me when she puts her little arm over her belly like that.}

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{So much bark got delivered this afternoon. And then Aaron spent the rest of the day spreading it out in our flower beds. I posted a video in my Instagram stories of the backyard if you want to see it all done!}

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{A post-nap Easter egg hunt this afternoon. She was pretty excited about it! Also, this is pre-new bark as this flower bed looks vastly different now!}

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{CHEESE!}

Grammie was in town for the long weekend (obviously) so we had such a fun time with her while she was here! We headed up north to Skagit Valley for the Tulip Festival and even though the tulips are slightly late this year (about a quarter aren’t in bloom yet) it was still so, so beautiful! If you are ever in Seattle in April, go check it out.

The weekend brought sunny and warm-ish weather, so we tried to spend at least some of the day outside! Aaron did a complete overhaul to our yard and now it looks amazing, plus Grammie planted our front pots and I got a few new plants into the backyard beds.

It really felt like SPRING this weekend and I am welcoming it with open arms. Even though we are supposed to get rain for the next few days, the warmer temperatures will (slightly) make up for it. And we are ready to start a new week!

How was your weekend? Also, HAPPY EASTER and how is it already the middle of April?!

M