Favorite Items - Newborn Edition
I can remember when I was still a few months pregnant and I am pretty sure I researched just about every link available on Google about which products I needed to buy for my newborn. I even watched endless YouTube videos about essential products, products you don't need, etc. It turns out I may have gotten a few extra products that I don't tend to use very often, but it's better to be prepared than not at all, I suppose.. I'm going to show you Piper's essential items that have made life easier for not only her, but her mama bear as well!
(Pictured above) I met with a lactation consultant the first few weeks after Piper was born and we quickly found out that I was going to have to use formula to feed instead of breastmilk. I did some research and found some bottles for her to use. They seemed decent, had good reviews, but unfortunately, those particular bottles didn't work for Piper and she was spitting up a lot. When I met with Abby, our lactation consultant, she suggested these Dr. Browns bottles to help with colic or spit-up. They have definitely made a difference and I'm so happy Abby told me about them!
Our next favorite is the Boppy Pillow.
Piper absolutely LOVES this thing! She naps so great in it and sometimes I'll feed her while she's sitting in it as well. We have a few rocker seats, but those don't seem to impress her just yet but this Boppy Pillow always does the trick if she's a bit fussy, needs to nap, or even just to hang out in while her father and I eat some dinner!
From day one since we brought Piper home, I decided I wanted her to sleep in her own crib. To help her sleep a little better (to feel more comforted) and to help my sanity, I bought this crib insert of Amazon! (Similar to the Doc-A-Tot)- I wanted a Doc-A-Tot so badly but couldn't justify the money at the time and wasn't really sure if she was going to like it or use it. I looked on Amazon and found this crib insert! Piper sleeps so peacefully in it and at night, she will sleep anywhere from 6-8 hours! Thankfully I haven't been missing out on too much sleep just yet all thanks to this crib insert.
To help even more with my sanity, and because we have Piper in her own room, Billy and I decided to by a video monitor. Originally I was going to just buy a cheap-o one that just had audio and no video, but I can tell you right now, it's more than worth it to spend the money to get a video monitor. The one we bought is by Hello Baby and its AMAZING! You can control the camera from the monitor screen and it also has night vision so her picture is crystal clear when her room is dark! Definitely one of my favorite newborn purchases that I love!
I'm totally a girl that's all about convenience and these easy swaddles are just that- they have a little pouch for her legs to slide into and then two flaps with velcro attachments that wrap super easily around her and everything stays in place. We have a few different kinds of easy swaddles, but my favorite swaddles are the ones from the brand Golden Phoenix. We received these from a good friend but you can find them on Amazon and they have adorable patterns for boys and girls! Piper LOVES to be swaddled, so these easy swaddles are perfect. I keep one laid out on her crib insert for when it's time for bed, everything is ready to go and she's swaddled up in two seconds!
These first few months have been such an adventure and a total trail and error of many products. Among all the things we've tried, these products are the ones we absolutely love and that I would recommend to any new parent (or parent in general)! These things have worked great for Piper and I and I hope that you're able to find this post helpful! I assume you're a new parent or grandparent if you're stumbling across this post; don't worry- you got this! Newborns don't need TONS of products for their first few months of life, just a few essentials and that's it! Since I've gotten a trial two months or so, I figured I'd give my insight on which products have worked best for us in hopes to help any of you decide what you need for your little love bug. Happy Parenting!
I want to take a moment and introduce to you our new member of the family!
On July 15th at 11:59am, Piper Emery Livingston came into this world. It's been a little over a month since she was born and I still find myself in shock; I'm a mother!! I was always that person growing up joking about how I'd never have kids, but that mentality quickly changed once I met my partner. When you fall in love with someone, you're in an entirely different realm; a whole new world... So, with the endless amount of love I have for the man, I decided to put more thought into this whole "baby thing". I researched endlessly all about pregnancy, birth, newborn care, etc. No amount of research could cure the fact that I was terrified of being a mother. I wasn't scared of the pregnancy, getting pregnant, or even giving birth; I was terrified I wouldn't become a good mother. It took a lot of loving myself and expressing my anxieties to my partner before really considering anything. In reality, we were both scared shitless but after all, we were in this together. He kissed me and told me to take every day as it comes, that we will figure everything out along the way because this was something we both really wanted.
I can say with 100% confidence, having a child is the most amazing experience I could ever imagine. You're whole life changes in a matter of seconds. Once she was out of the womb and laying on my chest, the moment became so real. I really did it... I made this tiny being... To be honest, I actually couldn't stop crying the entire day but happy tears of course!
I'm excited to watch Piper grow and to let her be independent. I'm excited to have a best friend, someone I can watch Disney movies with and braid her hair, or jump in some mud puddles while it's raining. I know we will butt heads occasionally, (and if she's like her father, she will be one very stubborn girl!!) but I'll never love her any less.
It has been a learning curve, I must say. Getting the swing of things, adjusting to the new "routine", losing some sleep; it's taking some getting used to but is totally worth it! Piper has been eating and sleeping really well, loves tummy time and can already hold her head up like a champ!! Every time she smiles, my heart melts. I've been cherishing all the time I've had with her while I'm on leave; I don't want to let her go. Piper Emery has my entire heart already and I'm so blessed to be her mama bear.
I’m slowly figuring out that it’s quite a struggle to manage time as an adult. As a kid, time seemed almost endless- it felt like turning eighteen was light years away and boy, was I wrong…
As a young pup, I didn’t fully understand the concept of time, or significance of dates (except I somehow always remembered Christmas and my birthday…). Honestly, maybe I still don’t really understand how time works? I seem to have flip flopped and as I get older, time goes by at a flash. Some days, I feel like I’ll be turning 60 years old ‘tomorrow’ and I’ll have nothing to show for it. We are already six months into 2018 and I’m just now starting new projects. I feel as though it flies by so quickly that I’m essentially wasting my days instead of making the most of them.
One particular morning, I awoke with no cares in this world- I was just happy to see the sun was shining and the flowers were finally blooming. After a while, I thought to myself- I’m as fragile as a flower. I need full sunlight, plenty of water and room to sink my roots in deep. When Winter arrives and the sun hides, I start to wilt and my leaves start to sag more and more each day. I hold on a little longer until I can’t stand the bitter cold and dark days. My flower is no longer bright, beautiful and vibrant. It’s dead leaves remain a reminder of the beauty it once had- and still has… Think about the struggle a flower must go through just to make it to next spring.
Time flies to next spring and you notice the flower is blooming more beautiful and stronger than ever before. Which I suppose you could find a deep metaphor in staring at your garden; There is always struggle but keep your roots planted and day by day things will get easier until you’re finally ready to blossom into something beautiful.
It was in that moment that I stopped wallowing in my own sorrows- what’s the point, right? The “woe is me” attitude only pushes you farther back… So, I decided to just live in the present. Day by day; getting stronger as I go. There are certain things in life you just can’t control- just remember to breathe in the fresh air and keep your roots planted deep.
Oh hey, hi there.... Long time, no see! I can't say I have any jaw dropping excuses to accompany the lack of posts, but I do have some sort of explanation for you: I suppose, like everyone eventually does, I needed a break. It can get pretty frustrating living your life through a single lens and ironically, you don't see as much as one would think. When your main concern is getting the perfect lighting, angle, camera specs, etc, you lose sight of what is actually important and the emotion you're really trying to convey. After a while, focusing on being so perfect only made me feel like photography was more of a chore than an enjoyable activity for me. I decided to put down the camera and just LIVE. With the ending of 2016, I had a feeling the new year was going to bring lots of changes for me. If you don't change, than you don't grow in my opinion. All of these life changes were for the better, but I really needed time to process it all and, like I said before, just live. Wake up in the morning, staring at my love, eating breakfast on the porch and noticing the bird noises, the wind, the waves crashing against the dock. Even hearing Cooper (the dog) grunt while he eats is so incredibly heart warming to me because I'm focused on the moment itself and not concerned with getting the perfect shot. I've learned so much about life just setting down my camera and living in the moment. I'm not creating any realities or posing a shot for more likes on Instagram; I'm present in each moment, trying to soak up all the sunshine this summer offers me. That being said, I'll never put down my camera for good. My camera is my heart and soul, but also one of the only ways I'm comfortable openly expressing myself and my creativity. Through this I've learned that there needs to be a happy medium; an equal balance of living your life and getting those great shots when the time presents itself. There's no need to be perfect, beauty is already everywhere around you, just learn to really see it and enjoy it. Put down your camera for a minute and really observe what you're looking at- how green are the leaves of a fern? What about it captures your attention? The more questions you can answer, the easier it will become for you to convey any emotion through your shots.
Before my rambles get out of control, I figured this was a good place to wrap things up. I hope you enjoy the few pictures I was able to capture so far this year. Maybe I've even inspired you in a different aspect of your life- either way, just put down your laptop or cell phone and just LIVE. Go for a walk and really observe your surroundings, you'll thank me later.
The Winter Blues...
This past weekend my family and I visited the Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Maine for the Garden's Aglow. Who would have thought wrapping hundreds of lights around dormant trees would be so beautiful?! It truly was a really nice time. They had twice as many lights as the previous year and they arranged them in such a way that you could walk along the paths. And not to worry- they have a popcorn stand, if your tummy starts to growl and I suggest buying that scrumptious bag of gold! Perfect for a little snack as you walk around. The garden's even set up a little event for the kids to participate in. They contructed fairy houses and as you came up to each one, you had to mark it on the map. If you didn't get to experience it this year, I would definitely recommend it to be on your list for next year!
Tuesday wasn't a particularly exciting day for this little mama. I did manage to escape my abode and wander off... Here's a little glimpse into my moongazing, car cruisin' adventure. It's a bit shaky, but I hope you enjoy!
Towards the end of October, my family, along with me and my boyfriend, ventured off to Acadia. I know, It's already December- but, better late than never, right? As most of you know (if you've ever talked to me personally) I tend to blab on and on about useless things, but words aren't really necessary for this post. Acadia's beauty really speaks for itself... Let this be your inspiration to go outside today, even if it's cold and rainy!
Most of the time, I need to remind myself to do this; breathe. Always constantly repeating it. Hence where I got the inspiration for "Breathe Serenity", because in the typical 21st century lifestyle, most of us don't take the time to stop and breathe. Take the time, you won't regret it... This is my serenity- chasing sunsets and breathing in the ocean air.
Hi! I’m Jacqueline. Welcome to my Blog! I am a very simple girl residing in a town smaller than most people can comprehend. It’s an ocean side town on the rocky coast of Maine. I am forever surrounded by beauty and serenity which makes my creative side glow. I am a freelance photographer with a love for tea, kittens, books and adventure.