Lennon's Nursery Reveal- Part 1 (The Gallery Wall)

I'm so excited to finally share Lennon's nursery! I've been working on her nursery for months and I'm so happy with how it turned out. The first step in designing the nursery was searching for inspiration. I always start with Pinterest, since it generally provides images that are similar to my aesthetic. Every nursery I came across was a similar vibe and really repetitive. The decor was either very neutral (think white, beige and llamas...kind of like Navy's nursery before I redecorated her room and I'm so over it), or too girly for me (bright colors and ruffles...no thanks). 

For Lennon's nursery, I went with a more moody vibe and added a few girly elements. I knew I wanted to paint one wall an olive color, with floating clouds and soft pink balloons above the crib. But I wasn't sure what to decorate on the other wall, above her changing table. 

When we did our photoshoot for our pregnancy announcement and gender reveal, I decided that displaying the pictures in the nursery would be perfect. The pictures were too beautiful not to display (so often we take pictures and they end up staying on my phone or computer and I never really look at them). 

So that is how I decided to do a gallery wall surrounding the changing table. When I was researching frames I came across Desenio. They have gorgeous frames and wall art. I fell in love with the dark oak frame, which fit my aesthetic of the room perfectly. I've done gallery walls in other areas of my home, but with this wall I really wanted it to be a statement. To create the vibe I was going for, I went with the 50 x 70 cm size frames, which you can see here. The frames are very lightweight and include a shatterproof acrylic glass. I also added these mats

Once I chose the frames, I had to figure out the layout. I wanted it to be symmetrical (I know the trend these days is purposely mismatched frames in different sizes and colors arranged asymmetrically but that's not really my style).  I decided to go with six frames, three on each side of the mirror. 

When it came to the installation, I removed the protective film on the acrylic glass (make sure to remove it on both sides), inserted the mat and taped the picture behind the mat to ensure they stayed in place. Ray then measured exactly where I wanted the frames to go and installed it himself. The whole process was really easy. I absolutely love how it turned out. 

Lennon's Birth Story

I'm officially a mommy of two girls! It is truly surreal. When I asked on Instagram if you had any questions, the most common question by far was how my birth with Lennon compared to my birth with Navy. I figured a blog post was the best way to share my story. Plus, I selfishly love it because it serves as a journal for me to look back on to make sure I never forget any details of the most special day.

Let me start by saying that their births could not have been more different, and yet, they were both amazing in their own way. I know, I'm one of the weird people that actually enjoyed my two labor and deliveries. Of course there were times that were painful/uncomfortable etc but overall they were both the most magical experiences. 

You could read Navy's birth story here, but as a recap I was set to be induced at 39 weeks and my water broke the night of 38 weeks and 6 days. I ended up delivering her at exactly 39 weeks. I was in labor for almost 24 hours and pushed for a few hours. 

This time around I wasn't at all anxious for the delivery itself, since I had such a positive experience with Navy. What I was anxious about was making sure Navy was all set up when I went into labor. My best friend was going to watch her but she lives about 45 minutes from me. When my water broke with Navy, within 2 hours my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, so I was worried about how quickly we could get Navy set up before going to the hospital (especially since everyone says it goes so much more quickly the second time around). 

At my 39 week appointment my doctor, Dr. Jason Rothbart, and I discussed whether I should get induced. At the time, Lennon was measuring around 7lbs give or take and I was around 1.5 cm dilated. Because I was due on Thanksgiving, if I didn't get induced at 39 weeks and 4 days I would have to wait until a couple days after 40 weeks (unless I went into labor naturally). I decided that I didn't want to wait until after my due date and also it was appealing to know exactly when I would deliver so that I could make sure Navy was okay. 

So on Sunday, at 39 weeks and 3 days, we went to my friends house and set Navy up. We took some family pics, kissed her bye, and headed home for a few hours before checking in to the hospital at midnight. 

Unlike with Navy where I started in the triage room, this time they brought me right to my delivery room. Our room had a window overlooking the hills (it was like a hotel room). They did the IV and all the necessary bloodwork and then around 1:00 am we started Pitocin. Lennon reacted so well to the Pitcocin with no issues at all (with Navy her heart rate kept on dropping so we would need to stop/start it). At around 4:00 am I got the epidural (I honestly should have gotten it a bit earlier). At 8:20 am I was 4.5 cm dilated so my doctor broke my water. Around 12:20 pm I was 10 cm dilated. I told my nurse and the midwife that my legs were so frozen, I didn't think I'd be able to push and that we may need to lower my epidural. The midwife said to do one practice push and immediately said to stop, the baby was so close and she was going to call my doctor. My doctor got there so quickly and in around 3 pushes she was out. 

Lennon Cove Leider was born at 12:55 pm, 6lbs 9oz and 19.5 inches long. To say I'm grateful that I've had two amazing birth experiences is an understatement. 

Navy is loving the role of big sister and her "little baby sister Lenny". I'm just soaking it all in. 

Amazon Baby Fashion Haul

There are tons of Amazon hauls showing up on my Instagram feed these days. To be honest, I rarely feel compelled to add the items to my cart let alone check out. Then I came across a flowered baby romper and let's just say, I went a tad overboard.  Below are my favorites. They're not the best quality ever, but for around $10 each, I would recommend them. 

Navy's 8 month schedule

This post is long overdue (Navy is now 10 months!), but I thought it was still worth sharing. When Navy was around 7 months old, people kept on asking me if she was down to two naps (with the assumption that she was). I would mumble "sort of" under my breath. The truth is, Navy wasn't ready to drop her third catnap. Every day on our afternoon walks she would drift off to sleep for 20-30 mins. I remember stressing about it, thinking she should outgrow it and it would affect her nighttime sleep. Looking back now, I can't believe I stressed about it. The fact is, babies will show you what they need and what they don't. One day she was simply no longer interested in falling asleep during our daily walks. She was up and energized. She showed me when she was ready to drop the catnap. So while I'm sharing her schedule below, it's just to share an example of an 8-month-old schedule. I suggest researching a bunch of schedules to see what works best for your little one. 

Here is Navy's 8-month schedule (that we still use today): 

7:00- wake up and bottle (if she wakes up earlier, we wait until 7 to go in her room unless she's crying)
8:00- breakfast
9:00-11:00- nap 1 and bottle (although these days she barely drinks this bottle anymore)
12:00- lunch
2:00-4:00- nap 2 (sometimes this nap is only 1-1.5 hours)
4:00- bottle
6:00- dinner
7:30- bottle and bed

Products You Need For starting Solids

We recently started Navy on solids (at 5.5 months). I was so excited for this chapter. Navy...not so much. Let's just say it didn't seem that she liked anything I tried to feed her (apples, pears, bananas, spinach, broccoli etc.). I am glad to report that the past couple of feeds were way more successful! We're getting there.

Here is everything I bought related to introducing solids:

1. High chair- This one is a classic. It's great because it grows with your baby (can eventually be used as a chair). It also has an adjustable footplate, which is key (provides stability and comfort for babies).  Make sure to buy the complete set.

2. Beaba- Makes it so easy to make baby purees.

3. Utensils- I recommend these spoons to start. Navy loves to hold them. She can chew on them since they have a flat and textured surface (which is also supposed to help soothe sore gums). I bought these spoons to feed her. And lastly I got these spoons for when she's a bit more advanced and wants to feed herself (it's actually a spoon, unlike the other ones she can hold which have a flat surface).

4. Bowl Placemat- This suctions to the table. It helps to promote self-feeding. And it comes in pretty colors.

5. Bib- this one is easy to clean and comes in pretty colors.

6. Food storage- I got this to store purees in the freezer.

7. Sippy cup- I got this sippy cup and this one. So far, she doesn't understand how to drink from them. But they come highly recommended.

8. Fresh Fruit Feeders- We started with these before we introduced purees and she loved them (I used bananas, avocado etc.)

Navy's 6 month schedule

When I shared Navy's 4-5 month schedule, so many of you saved it. Now that we are on a different routine, I thought I would share her 6-month schedule. Please note, below is my ideal situation. In reality, it rarely works out exactly as described. Either she has trouble falling asleep, or doesn't sleep the entire time, or needs to add another catnap in the late afternoon etc. Also, Navy has 5 bottles a day. If your baby has 4 bottles a day, you can eliminate the 5:00 pm bottle. 

7:00 am- Wake up and bottle (even if Navy wakes up earlier, we only get her at 7:00 am unless she is really crying)
7:30 am-8:00 am- Playtime
8:00 am-8:30 am- Breakfast
8:30 am-9:00 am- Read Navy books and get her ready for bed
9:00 am-11:00 am- Nap 1
11:00 am- Bottle
11:30 am-12:00 pm- Playtime
12:00 pm- Lunch
12:30 pm- Read Navy books and get her ready for bed
1:00 pm-3:00 pm- Nap 2 (she rarely sleeps the full 2 hours but I offer it at this time)
3:00 pm- Bottle
3:30 pm- Playtime (I normally take her for a nice walk during this time)
5:15 pm- Bottle and dinner  
5:45 pm -6:45 pm-  Nap 3 (normally this is on a walk with Ray and Luca)
7:20 pm- Bath
7:30 pm- Bottle and books
7:45 pm- Bedtime

0-3 month recap

How is Navy 5 months old?! The past 5 months have flown by (even in quarantine). Before I forget the ins and outs of the first few months, I figured I'd do a recap and provide some useful information. We all know that the first few months are filled with sleepless nights, healing, figuring shit out, and the occasional meltdown. But more importantly, it's the most magical time.

The greatest advice I got

  • Enjoy every moment, even the sleepless nights, because it goes by so fast- This couldn't be more true. Navy is almost 5 months old as I write this, and I can't get over how fast time is going. I actually have moments where I feel sad. I miss her delivery (I know, I'm one of very few), I miss the few days in the hospital (pre-Covid 19), I miss the first week home where it was just Navy, Ray, Luca and I getting to know her and I miss when our families came to meet her (and sadly haven't seen her since because of Covid 19). Don't get me wrong, I'm so excited for all of the milestones that are to come. But the newborn phase was so incredible, I can't believe how quickly it flew by. 
  • Your priorities will change the day she is born- Wow. This also couldn't be more true. Before we had Navy, I had a really hard time deciding if I was ready. How was I going to balance work and motherhood? I was so dedicated to my job, I couldn't imagine having the time to raise a baby. What if I can't bill as much? Or be as readily available for clients? I remember my people telling me that, while I can't imagine it now, when Navy is here my priorities will change. I really didn't understand that, until she was born. 
  • Everyone will have their own opinion (and let it be known)- If you don't want to hear it, just ignore it. Some advice will be really helpful, and others just won't resonate or apply to you. Know how to filter the good from the bad. 
  • Listen to your mom instincts- I love this one. I had zero idea how to take care of a baby before Navy was born. After all, I had never even changed a baby's diaper on my own or spent a few hours alone with one. But the second Navy was born, it all came so naturally. It's the weirdest thing- you go from having no idea what you're doing to feeling like you know better than anyone. 
What I learned 

  • You really don't know what it's going to be like until you're in it- The best example I can give is with breastfeeding. Before Navy was born, I really didn't care whether I breastfed or used formula. Fed is best. I, of course, still strongly believe that. But I was surprised at how attached to breastfeeding I became. I was lucky to have a great supply and for it to come relatively easy for Navy and I. Unfortunately, I had to stop pretty abruptly when she was 3 months old. In a million years I never thought I would be so upset switching to bottle-feeding.
  • Never say never- Going back to breastfeeding, I always said that once I was exclusively bottle-feeding, I would just stop pumping. I really didn't like to pump and so I figured at that point, I'd just switch to formula (and use up any milk I had stored, which was quite a bit). Wrong. For whatever reason, I cannot stop pumping. I've been doing it exclusively for 2 months. Let's see how long I do it for. 
  • Don't rush sleep training- When Navy turned 3 1/2 months, she outgrew the Snoo. I decided that once I was moving her to the crib, I would start sleeping training her (for nighttime and naps). The nighttimes weren't terrible, but the naps were a nightmare. After an incredibly challenging week, I decided Navy simply wasn't ready to start sleep training (especially for naps). After all, they say that you can't really train them for naps until 5 months. But I was so eager to start, I figured she could do it. Thankfully I hadn't yet returned the Snoo, so for the following two weeks, I had her nap in the Snoo (which was a dream). At 4 months I switched her back to the crib. But I'm now way more relaxed. Even she's having difficulty napping (normally her 3rd and 4th nap of the day), I let her sleep in the stroller or on me. When they're developmentally ready, it's so much easier. At 4 months and 1 day, Navy decided she no longer wanted the dream feed. She started sleeping through the night (most nights), and it was just so much easier than trying to force it earlier. 
  • You can't do it all- For a few months, I was doing the morning shift every morning. And not surprisingly, I burnt out. There is only so long you can go with such little sleep. Ray and I started alternating morning shifts and it made an incredible difference. Even if I wake up early on my off days, I'm able to get a workout in and do something for me. 
Things I think you need

Things you can live without
  • So many swaddles- 2 is enough in my opinion
  • More than a couple of outfits- Navy lived in footies until 4 months. It's just SO much easier. They stay nice and cozy. Plus she spits up so much I have to change her all of the time (with outfits that would have been a nightmare). 
  • I did this post about things you don't need in your hospital bag
  • Pretty muslin swaddles- I got 5 and barely used them. I use the burp cloths I took from the hospital.