This post is brought to you by Target. Get More Cuuuute with Hello Kitty at Target.

Growing up, on a daily basis my immediate family consisted of my mother and sister. My sister and I did everything together, and girl time was not just a treat, it was a given. I think about the relationship that I’ve had with both of them and how being raised by and around women on an almost sole basis shaped who I am today. I am emotional, empathetic, nurturing, and compassionate, just like my mom and my sister are.

With two brothers Zoe and Evangeline have much more gender balance in their lives than I did as a child, and it will be so interesting to me to see how they evolve into their own people having had those male counterparts to grow up with. I love raising them together with their brothers and watching them share toys… Beau even learned to ride a two wheeler on his sister’s pink, flowery bike and happily considers it his own. I couldn’t be more thrilled that he doesn’t refer to colors as exclusionary, at least for the time being, despite his 7 year old brother’s prodding that “pink is girly”. It’s cool that Zoe will go from picking out 16 different dolls from her favorite catalog to running out the door to shoot hoops with her brother in the same 5 minute stretch.

When I planned to celebrate Zoe and my sister Brianna’s birthday at my mom’s house with our Hello Kitty supplies from Target, I didn’t realize that I was more excited to also celebrate our bond as the girls in our family, too. It was so much fun to decorate in pink, adorn ourselves in “girly” Hello Kitty bracelets & tattoos and nosh on the prettiest pink sprinkle cookies. We made mummy hot dogs for dinner and played in the back yard as we do every Sunday at my mother’s house, but this was a special treat for all of us to decorate in pink.

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Beau, as usual, wasn’t daunted by the feminine Hello Kitty supplies (Jack and daddy spent most of the time watching the baseball playoff game) and joined in with our festivities with gusto. If I could guess, he will be the more well rounded of my boys despite his affinity for all things athletic and messy.

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It was sweet and special to have Evangeline there to celebrate Zoe and Brianna’s September birthdays though, halls decked in pink, with myself and my mom as well. I love having a perfectly mixed family of genders, but this feminine connection is something that will always be special to me.

Thank you to Target for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!


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Momma's Gone City

I never understood how crucial sleep is until I became a mother. I think about the days that I willingly pulled all-nighters, cramming on art projects during college or studying for exams, or staying up with friends and partying. The lack of sleep on those days was hardly a factor in my mental well being. Life with a newborn taught me real quick that chronic sleepless nights were damaging both mentally and physically and contributed to the deterioration of my rationale gauge in record time. Jack and I learned a lot together that first year especially, and while it was definitely rocky at times, I didn’t perpetuate those particularly troublesome cycles.

With Zoe, Beau, and Evvie I began scheduling the evenings very early. Lesson number one towards establishing a good sleep regimen was routine.

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Bath time: Starting around 7pm every night whether or not they’re sleeping at the time, I prepare a warm, soapy bath in a steamy bathroom with the lights low. They have all loved bath time, but Evvie was a slow adopter. She fussed at first so I didn’t leave her in for too long, just long enough for her to get used to it. She now will stay in the tub happily for as long as twenty minutes.

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Feeding: Once she’s warm and snuggly in her new diaper and pajamas, I nurse (or daddy bottle feeds) her for also about twenty minutes in a low-lit room where she usually sleeps which is ours, for now. We wanted to get her used to taking the bottle, and this is the perfect time for daddy-baby bonding, too. It’s important that she’s used to and comfortable with her surroundings at night time especially.

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Swaddle: After she’s done nursing, I make shushing sounds and swaddle her tight, rocking her while she’s still awake until she dozes off.

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Projector & Sound System: We’re incorporating the use of the Munchkin projector and sound machine lately, and while I haven’t used one before now, I’m really questioning why we didn’t. The functionality is clear and easy, especially for dimly lit rooms and sleep deprived adults. The white noise is really and truly a buffer for the various disturbances in the night like raccoons in the trash or Theo’s loud dreaming. We needed one for Beau’s room too for that reason.

This isn’t a perfect routine, but it’s worked with three out of four of my babies. We’re still up every two-four hours to nurse, but it’s such an easy process that we’re back sleeping after about 45 minutes. I still occasionally feel exhausted and run down, but compared to the sleepless nights and exhaustion that I felt with Jack’s first weeks, there is no comparison. I’m grateful for any and all moments of rest that I can find. While the swaddling and rocking sessions can’t last forever, I’m definitely trusting the bath time and Munchkin Projector & Sound System to last us at least through the first year or two.

Munchkin is generously offering free shipping to my readers! Code is CITYMUNCHKINS at checkout. Go forth and find your sleep/play/bath necessities, friends!

Thank you to Munchkin for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!

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Restore

October 21, 2014

There are so many layers to our days, most of which get discarded like tear sheets floating to the floor in the room that holds the master drawing board. Moments that I should be enjoying and building upon end up crumpled and pitched into the corner where the waste bin lies. Beau has been so […]

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Everything in a Smile

October 17, 2014

Like most adolescents, I was a pretty shy and self-conscious tween (like, before that was an actual term. I’m old like that). I fussed over my clothes and my hair, overthinking every single aspect of my appearance like my life depended on it. While I could change those things every day, I couldn’t fix one […]

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Momma Loves

October 17, 2014

This week seems to only be getting harder with little Beau and his separation emotional turmoil over baby Evvie joining our family, so I’ve been spending as much one-on-one time as I possibly can with him. That means having as many adults in our home as we can get at this point, and I’m just […]

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On Secret Keeping & Anticipation

October 15, 2014

When we found out we were pregnant with Jack, my husband didn’t want to find out what his gender was. He wanted that surprise in the delivery room where the doctor announces and we all rejoice in happiness and tears. That wasn’t something I was interested in, as I had been carrying this child for […]

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Everything Will Be OK

October 14, 2014

I want to tell you about Beau. About how sensitive he is and how he’s so totally emotionally tuned in to all of us. I wish you could hear the way he calls his baby sister “Baby Evvvvvie”, it’s so cute and sweet that it actually feels like my heart is going to crack and […]

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Momma Loves: New Baby Edition

October 10, 2014

Things have been pretty heavy around here, and whenever I start feeling suffocated I just want to do something mindless. So I either shop or turn on Bravo. TV watching hasn’t been much of an option since I’m working and mothering most of the day, so online browsing has been my go to. There are […]

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Feeling Beautiful for Her

October 8, 2014

Sometimes the ultimate mind, body and soul rejuvenation for me is a new hair cut. So, I booked an appointment and went to get my hair done for the first time in the three weeks since Evvie was born. I was eager for the physiological cleansing that only a new haircut can bring, and so […]

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Growing With Them

October 7, 2014

Jack and Zoe are 19 months apart. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the time we spent together during those first few completely wild, totally amazing years. How I loved having two babies. We did everything together, so many firsts spent learning about life, the three of us. Our first time in Manhattan; on […]

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