February 24, 2017

Black-White-Polka-dot

Hi Loves!
Happy Friday!
I hope you've had a great week. Mine has been filled with highs and lows as I returned to work.
Although, I officially returned to work 6 weeks postpartum, I was able to work from home. I physically returned to the office on Wednesday and it has been a long week for me.  Between the emotional drain and guilt of leaving my baby and all the extra stuff that has to be done both the night before and the morning off, let's just say it is not easy and I'm still finding footing.

I'm having withdrawal symptoms from my little buddy. I forgot how hard this part is, because being through it before doesn't help at all. If anything,  I think it is harder on me this time than the first time with Eliana. I know it will get easier, so for now, I'm taking it one day at a time and glad the weekend is here!

Cheers to the weekend and have a great day!

Top: Zara
Pants: Zara (old)  
Coat: Zara (old)
Shoes: VS 

P.S: This all Zara ensemble wasn't planned. Funny I just realized it while writing the post.


Xx
Christiana

February 21, 2017

Pregnancy & The Changing Body :: Likes & Dislikes

Hi Loves!
It is no news that the woman's body goes through a lot of changes during that very crucial 9 months of carrying and growing a baby. I'm sure everyone has a few things they love about being pregnant and even a few not so lovable ones, at least for me.

 Today, I'll be sharing my favorites and not so favorites things about the physical body changes during and post pregnancy. After going through this twice, these things that have really held true with both experiences.

5 Favorite Body Changes During and Post Pregnancy
Hair: When I'm pregnant, it's like my hair is on steroids. It grows fast and full, very full. Gone are the days when I used to want and like my hair to lay as flat and straightened as possible on my head, but now, I appreciate some fullness and bounce in hair, especially during pregnancy. Thanks to the pre-natal vitamins and all those hormones.

Bigger Burst: Ok, I know I'm calling attention to my burst here, but it's hard not to notice and acknowledge the difference. Some people can make it through pregnancy and stay their regular bra size, not me. With my first pregnancy, I changed bra sizes twice before I delivered and started nursing. Something I didn't appreciate then, but now, I do. Knowing and seeing the tremendous work (lol) they are doing, it is worth appreciating. Having my clothes either not fit or fit a little too tightly around the burst is a slight price to pay for the tons of free milk we get.

Food: Ok, I must admit, this is one of the few times I feel like I can eat unapologetically. Going for that second round or having the last of something. I love food, so not feeling bad about eating because I have a good excuse is a win for me. The first few weeks postpartum is when I feel like I eat the most actually. I guess I can attribute that to all that milk production. I feel like I was always hungry hence I was eating nonstop. I finally feel like I'm getting a handle on it.

Nails: Ah, it's funny this happened the first time as well. All I've ever wanted was strong, natural long nails but a soon as it grows a tiny bit now and they do grow fast, I cut them off. I tried keeping them  a decent length, but I'm that mom that pokes her kids even with the slightest bit of nail when getting them ready. So, the only way to avoid poking my children and accidentally scratching them is to keep them really short. I do still love that even though I keep them short, they are strong and healthy and not constantly chipping or peeling like they used to.

Clear and glowing skin: My skin is at its best when I'm pregnant even without doing much, and my routine really doesn't consist of much. But, just having clean, clear, radiant skin without even trying is a definite plus

On to the flip side

5 Non- Favorite Body Changes During and Post Pregnancy
Weight gain/losing the weight: The weight gain is not so much a dislike as much as trying to lose it afterwards. Maybe if I was a work-out type of person, this wouldn't be a big deal for me but since I survive on as little work out as possible, well you can see my dilemma.

Not being able to fit in my clothes: Kind of goes along with my first point. But, I think I took it harder this time. Apart from working in a industry that doesn't allow me to fully utilize my closet now, pregnancy limited my options even further. I really don't know how I made it through 9 months of pregnancy buying only one or two maternity items.

Strength mark: No one wants stretch marks, but once you have them, you learn to love them as they are part of you and your new body. On the bright side, it's a beautiful reminder of the wonderful work your body did and the beautiful lives it created. When Eliana asks about the ones I know have on my belly, I tell her it's a gift ('birth mark') she and her brother gave me and she loves that explanation/fact. She'll even sometimes point to each line and say this is Emmanuel and this is Eliana.

Sleep deprivation: This hold true for both during pregnancy and post. I mean how much sleep can you really get when you're waking up every 2 hours to use the bathroom as you enter those final months, which turns into feeding every 2 hours once baby arrives.

Hair lose: Well, the luscious full hair gained during pregnancy doesn't last forever. This is my least favorite of all. The amount of hair I shed and see on the floor in the morning and pretty much all around the house months following delivery is insane. Very soon my hair will be back to its regular old flat self.

Ok, I hope you've enjoyed reading about my honest like and dislike of pregnancy and beyond.


Xx
Christiana

February 17, 2017

Maternity Shoot

Hi Loves!
 Happy Friday!

Long overdue but finally getting around to sharing some of my favorite shots from my maternity shoot with Emmanuel.
You can see my maternity shoot with Eliana here.

One thing that I did notice is the contrast in style from when I was pregnant with Eliana compared to Emmanuel (side not - Is it me or is it normal to almost always want to compare experiences with both children when you have the second one?) .
With the shoot with Eliana, it was all dressed up in heels but this time with Emmanuel, a causal look with some comfy shoes sounded was very ideal.

Embracing the beautiful fall scenery as the backdrop, I opted for this white lace with cut out details dress paired with my gold Toms and a gold halo headband. Eliana was was dressed to match as usual in white and gold ensemble :)

Enjoy!









White Dress: Loft (similar here, love this here)
Purple Dress: Asos (try this here & here )
Headbands: EliFab 
 


Xx
Christiana

February 8, 2017

Ruffled-Cold Shoulder

Hi loves!
Hope you day is going well. Mine is not too bad. Joggling a baby and working regular extended irregular hours from home can prove to be a challenge every now and then, but I'm grateful I am able to do this as opposed to leaving my baby behind in care of someone else so soon. The time is fast approaching for me to physically return to work and right now, I just can't bare the thought. So I'm savoring my last couple of weeks home alone with my boy. 
 
This dress is the first non-stretchy,  non-loose piece of clothing I would fit into at my regular size, and I have to honestly say it felt good! I've mostly been wearing loosely fitted / stretchy clothing or sized up pieces but on this day, I decided to give this a try and seeing it zip up was a delight. Granted I can still only fit in a couple of my jeans (boyfriend jeans) but I'll take it because this is with me eating literally non stop (topic for another day) and zero work out. 
Although, I'm starting to feel guilty, so I'm  making an attempt to include a light at home workout as part of my routine. If you know me at all, you'll know I hate working out and I can't keep at it for a long time. I think the longest I've gone consistently was 2weeks and it pretty much goes down the drain from there. But, I'm noticing the rest of this baby weight is not melting away as fast and easy as it did the first time, so I might actually need to put in some work this time, thanks to getting old and slower metabolism.
Anyways, here's to progress :)
Enjoy the rest of your day!

Dress: Asos (Green version here)
Jacket: H&M (old, similar here)
Bracelet: The Limited
Watch: Movado
Bag: Asos
Shoes: Calvin Klein

 

Xx
Christiana

February 3, 2017

Meet Emmanuel Toluwase

This week is all about my little boy!
Perfect way to end the week.  Today, I'm sharing some of my favorite shots from his newborn session.

It is still hard to believe sometimes that I am now a mom of 2 kids and that I have a boy. I'm sure with time, it will really sink in.

If you are a follower on Instagram, then you've caught a glimpse or two of this face already and in my recent post on the blog.  But, I'll like to formally introduce him on the blog with this post. 
So, meet Emmanuel Toluwase

Shared his birth story in the post here.
He is the perfect addition to our family and the best baby ever!
I'm sure you'll see more of him on here.
Happy Friday!







Xx
Christiana

January 31, 2017

Emmanuel's Birth Story

Hi loves!
Finally getting around to posting Emmanuel's birth story. I thought I better put pen to paper, well in this case fingers to keyboard before it becomes a sparse memory. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do this post this time around but after reading the one I did for Eliana here and remembering some little details I had forgotten already, I decided I wanted to document Emmanuel's just the same. 
There's something about going back to read these stories later that makes it worth writing.

So, here goes. You know what they say about every pregnancy and labor and delivery being different, that certainly holds true. Although I didn't get to blog much about my pregnancy experience with Emmanuel, it is different in all kinds of ways from Eliana. I did a first trimester recap here and that was about it. Second trimester was blissful and third trimester kicked my behind in all kinds of ways. I felt pain/discomfort in places I didn’t even know I could, which meant majority of the time towards the end, I was uncomfortable and I was just ready to go once we hit the magic 37 weeks.

Given that I had Eliana 2 weeks earlier than my due date, I was anticipating the same was going to happen this time as well. So, mentally and physically, I was begging for it.

I think the idea that the second time around you're supposed to be more familiar with the process, so you should know what’s going on and when it is time; but that couldn't be more farther from the truth for me. I was even more confused as to if I was in labor or not for good reasons I should say, NO pain!

When I went on thanksgiving break from work, I was hoping something would happen that weekend which would have made it the perfect timing in my eyes so I wouldn't have to go back to work but I was wrong. God’s timing Is everything. Thanksgiving came and passed. The weekend rolled in and rolled out and the reality of going into work that Monday punched me in the face.

Thankfully I had a doctor's appointment that Monday morning so that was at least something to look forward to. I had not been check prior to this point so I was excited about this appointment and finding out if anything labor related has started as I was already 38 weeks.

So, on Monday the 27th, I went in and I was told I was 4cm dilated, you should have seen the look on my face (beyond happy). Excited the process has begun and it was only a matter of time given how it went the last time and knowing myself/body. The bad news however was that being that I hadn't been checked before now, we didn't know if I had been 4cm dilated for weeks as that is possible or if all this just started in the last few days or hours and is progressing. The doctor said she will still send me home as I was not too far along and I wasn't really feeling any 'real' contractions, at least not anything distinctive/painful or consistent. 

Prior to the appointment on Monday, over the weekend and most especially on Sunday, I was feeling something but not sure if it was braxton hicks or real contractions. It must have been the mildest contraction ever now that I think about it, and second it wasn't consistent at all timing wise, so that didn't give me any useful information. That would be the case throughout this process.

After the appointment, I dropped Eliana off at school and went into work and surprisingly, a lot of people were surprised to see me. My sentiment exactly.
Told my boss and co-workers if I don't show up tomorrow not to be surprised. For the rest of the day I continued to feel the mildest lower back pain I had been feeling. They were sometimes unnoticeable that if I'm focused on sometime else, I wouldn’t notice and they remaining inconsistent so I wasn't sure if they were real contractions or not. My next scheduled appointment was for the following week and I was secretly praying and hoping I wouldn't make it till then.

Anyways, Monday rolled in and out with the same feeling and unsure of whether I'm truly in labor or not and worried that since the contractions doesn't seem to be getting any strong or consistent I would wait too long before heading to the hospital because that was supposed to be the signal.
Well, I gave up on that and I started praying to God for a different sign to know when it's time to go to the hospital because I did not want to have this baby at work or home or in the car on the way to the hospital.

Woke up Tuesday morning and I got my sign, I saw the mucus plug.  So now I know for sure I’m in labor. All that is left is knowing when to head in to the hospital. I didn't want to go in too early and be sent back home.

 I got ready and went to work. Contractions which I'm convinced I'm having now although they remain low to mild but having it more often.  It was still not anywhere near alarming as a signal. Told one of my coworkers the update and she had the same fear that I was going to wait too long so she made me call the doctor’s office to go and get checked again which I did reluctantly. When I called the doctor’s office, around noon and told them all that had happened since they last saw me on Monday, I thought they were going to say come in right away but they gave an appointment for over 4 hours later. 
I mentally calmed myself down for the long 4 hours wait before I get any solid news and hoping nothing major happens before then.
Knowing how I was feeling and waddling around I decided if nothing happens tonight, I'll just work from home on Wednesday. So, I packed up all I needed from my office and headed to the appointment 4 hours later.
Finally got checked and was told I was 5cm dilated and 80% effaced. The doctor pretty much told me not to go home. She advised me to go the mall around the corner to walk around a bit to get the contractions more consistent and then head in to the hospital which was next door.
But what do I do? I went home. I have a daughter I needed to get situated for the night. I figured I'll get my walking done if needed at the hospital. I already had my hospital bag in the car but I didn't have an overnight bag for Eliana, so I went home to pack her one. Called hubby on my way home to let him know so we could meet at home and go to the hospital together as opposed to separately.

While I was waiting for hubby to get home, I did some walking around the house and up and down the stairs and I could feel the contractions getting just a tad bit stronger and frequent but still very manageable.

Hubby finally arrived just in time and off we went to say goodnight to Eliana who was still at school with her teacher/sitter. We dropped her bag off with her, said goodnight and took our last picture as a family of three. 
The hospital was just a few minutes away so within another couple of minutes we were there. We arrived around 6:45pm, got checked in once we told them the reason for the visit and might I add forced to use a wheelchair even though I told them I was ok but it's their policy. I don't know why, but that made me uncomfortable. After all that, I got wheeled up to Labor and Delivery, and just before changing I had to take my very last belly picture.


Got all changed, settled in, hooked up to the monitor and signed a few papers. By the time  the nurse checked me again, I was 6cm dilated and 90% effaced, that was around 7:20pm.
I think something about being in the hospital or maybe it’s being checked that made contractions a little more frequent and noticeable because by now I've gone from barely feeling them to mild contractions.
The nurse, who was the best I've ever had, so pleasant and super nice throughout our time with her asked what my plan was for pain management and I told her epidural. Her response was pretty much she thinks I could make it through without it given how I’m doing at this stage. I kind of agree but I wasn’t ready to find out if I could or not. I know these things are unpredictable and things could go from 0 to 100 in a second. Besides, my water was still intact, so that was helping. I remember from my prior experience as soon as they broke my water things got a little more intense.
She did the necessary blood work around 8pm and we had to wait for the result before the epidural can be administered. I remember thinking the whole time that I either wouldn't get it or would be cutting it close like the last.
My doctor finally made his way in around 9pm to check in. He said all was good and although my contractions are short and inconsistent he wouldn’t send me home at the stage. If it doesn't picked up he has a few natural tricks up his sleeve to help but it never came to that. He decided against checking me again, wanted me to rest up and just wait for the epidural.
 

Around 10:15pm, the anesthesiologist finally arrived to administer the epidural which we laughed through as everything from untying my gown to making the light fixture stay in his preferred location, to finding a working pen and computer scanner that works, just about everything went wrong. So, I said to him seriously, not jokingly at all, that he better not have any issue with performing this procedure on me and thankfully everything went well.
The nurse got me all settled in and comfortable, again. After the epidural, I pretty much felt nothing from the contractions. With that, I was able to take a power nap.

I started to feel a slight pressure so I called the nurse in. By 12:10pm she came back in to check, I was 9cm dilated, water still intact. She tried to wiggle her way around to break it but it wouldn't budge so she placed a call in for the doctor. 

By the time the doctor arrived around 1am, I was 10cm dilated at which point he finally broke my water and I immediately started feeling this intense pressure and an urge to bear down. The doctor was taking off his glove and explaining to me to let them know when I’m are ready to.....before he could finish his statement I raised my hands and yelled, I'm ready!  In that moment, they all frantically got themselves together, pulled up all the equipment, converted the bed and the whole time I was trying to hold back the huge to push as the doctor wasn't ready. He was still getting gowned up and barely got his gloves on when I started pushing. A couple of pushes later at 1:15am my beautiful baby was born and the room went into a big cheer, with, it’s a boy!!! I think they were all as excited to find out the sex as we are. He was born weighing 7.1lbs and 20inches long. 
 

He was placed on my chest for and we spent the next two and half hours bounding of which he spent about half of it nursing like a champ.
While I was still pregnant I would think to myself I cannot get lucky twice having an easy labor and delivery. I was worried the first one went so well and easily that this would be the opposite but thank God that couldn't be more farther from the truth. The delivery, and just as important the recovery was a bliss and even better than the first time.All praise to God!

 

Note: Not sure if it's just this hospital as I'm sure everyone does things differently but the norm wasn't wheeling the baby away to the nursery as soon as he was born here. It was the opposite, the baby gets to stay with mommy all the time except for when they need to do some test or procedure, then they take him but bring him right back. Even after delivery they had a little corner all set up for the baby so that was where the nurse bathed/cleaned him and did all the newborn stuff she had to do right there in front of us and he was handed back over to us as we transition to the recovery room where I was also blessed with the sweetest nurse ever.

Xx
Christiana

January 16, 2017

Baby Boy Nursery

Hi Loves!
Today, I'm giving you a peek into baby boy's room. Although not completely done yet, and honestly speaking, I am not sure if it will ever be 'completely' done at this point. Nothing major left, just one or two more little diy projects I'm working on that I'm not sure I will ever finish as their priority on my to-do list is low right now.

Anyways, I thought I'll share with you the current state and if it evolves, maybe I'll update it. So, given that we didn't know the sex of the baby until he was delivered and my less is more / keep it simple concept, this is what I ended up with and I'm happy with it. I went with grey and white as the main colors and the neutral color on the walls plays in just fine. Would have loved to freshen up the walls with some colors/artwork, but didn't want to risk it been gutted later if the need be (new house/warranty issue). Mixed in some patterns and textures to compliment the neutrals and added a few diy's pieces to finish it off.
This mini-crib, yes you read right, mini-crib was what Eliana used till she was two, so I didn't see the point in buying a full size crib this time around. Prior to purchasing it, I didn't even know mini-crib exists so I'm glad I found out about that option as it was a life saver at the time. We were still in our one bedroom apartment in New Jersey when we had Eliana so there was definitely no room for a full size crib but this worked just as good, and I don't miss not having a full size crib at all.
The poms and tassel garland and stars above the crib was a diy project made out knitting yarn and stars cut out of glitter card stock.
If you've been following Baby2 pregnancy on Instagram, you're know I'm obsessed with stars when it comes to him. That was the main theme of his baby shower (Twinkle little star). During preparation for the shower,  I found this grey star print pillow, how perfect right! I just knew I had to carry the star theme along into the nursery as well.
The next little diy in the room is the animal photo wall. I thought that would be a great way to add some pop of color to the room. Bought the blank wooden pieces at Walmart, and with some paint, mod pod and print out in black and white, these came to life. Found the idea and how-to for this project on Pinterest.Thinking of adding more animals, maybe.
The last diy project is the wall hanging shelf. I bought the shelf which was original a distressed white and rustic brown color. I sanded and painted the whole shelf white removing the distressed/rustic look. I just love the idea of using an unconventional item in this way, to store the diapers and all the daily getting ready essential. I particularly like the hooks as I can pick out his daily outfit and hang them out. If it had been a girl, I was going to use it as the bow/headband holder.

The changing table was also used for Eliana. Again, another space constraint purchase so I needed something compact and multi functional and this foots the bill nicely, as storage, changing table and hamper. 
This armoire is also one we purchase when we had Eliana that we used as her closet at the time (we pretty much dumped Eliana's old room in here with a few new things). It's been with us ever since but I think it might be time to let it go or find a new location/use for it in the house, as it is not necessarily needed in this room. 
For now, it stays in baby boy's room and on top is one of the gift from the shower that I'm currently using as a decor piece. Since the diaper used in making this are a bigger size, I'm leaving the art intact for now. Although, I did remove the top layer which was made of blankets. 

On another note, I am surprised at how much we managed to fit into that one bedroom back in New Jersey.

Below I have linked exact or similar pieces of items in the room.



Xx
Christiana

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