Winter Pregnancy

Winter PregnancyEnjoying the snow while it lasts on a day above freezing.  Happy Wednesday! XO

PS- Here’s proof you can get by without a Maternity Coat like I mentioned here.

Maternity Must Haves

Maternity Must Haves

Maternity Must HavesBelly Jelly / Jean Jacket / Tank / Maxi Skirt / Sandals / Maxi Dress / Tights / Booties / Jewelry / Cardigan / Tee / Belt / Dress / Boots / Jeans

Maternity clothing. Do you feel the dread? I know in the past I have. I thought it would be a fun to put together some of my core maternity items to share with any new moms out there or for any of you that are wanting to update your maternity style. I have learned lessons the hard way, particularly during my first pregnancy, when I went to one store and did all of my shopping in one afternoon.

Lessons Learned: There are actually four trimesters to dress for. Did you know that? I sure didn’t with babe #1 and was greatly frustrated when I came from the hospital with little options of what to wear. My advice: Plan on layering and using the same basics throughout your pregnancy and post-pardum (fourth trimester). Use what you have in your closet already. Don’t get caught up in a sales person’s helpfulness and purchase too much.

My first pregnancy (baby born in December) I felt frumpy. I wore what I had purchased on that one day shopping trip and towards the end none of it fit. AT. ALL.  Second pregnancy (baby born in June) I learned how to wear layers and utilize much of what was already in my closet. I liked that I was dressing the way I wanted to and was happy to get dressed each day. Third pregnancy (baby due in January)- I used the same ideas from second pregnancy and also discovered maxi dresses and skirts! (Seriously the best ever!!) The word ‘pretty’ would actually cross my mind when I looked in the mirror.  And I would get random compliments about being one of those ‘cute’ pregnant women. But the truth is, I looked the same  in the third pregnancy as I did in the first.  The difference was that I had discovered how to dress for the belly. So I am sharing my research of trial and error with you in hopes that it will save you money and bring you some ‘pretty’ days!

First Trimester: I like to call this stage the “cheeseburger belly.” For the most part you can wear your regular clothes. Do not go out and buy maternity wear if things start to get tight! You will grow out of them way to quickly. Instead look for loose flowy tunic tops to cover up your tiny belly.  If your pants get too tight look for a waist extender or find a pair of inexpensive shorts/pants that have an elastic waist.  Yoga pants are also awesome during this time!

  • Belly Jelly to keep the tummy from itching. I can attest that I have NO STRECTH MARKS after three times of being pregnant. (Big babies too!) In high school I did get stretch marks during a growth spurt (on my legs) so I know I am capable of having them. This stuff is awesome! I use 3-4 cans per pregnancy, usually starting at the beginning of the second trimester.
  • Comfortable undergarments. At a certain point you won’t be able to stand anything tight on your body. For me this means a larger sized bra (and I only purchase under-wire free now) and Hanes Bikini panties that I mentioned in the what to pack for the hospital post.
  • Also be sure and get some maternity tights! I love the opaque ones (black again) from Old Navy. Surprisingly much more comfortable than you would expect!
  • Body Pillow. This will make you sleep so much better in the second and third trimesters! I know they have some that are specifically for pregnancy, but I like mine just fine and it isn’t so huge that your husband has to sleep in another bed!

Second & Third Trimester:

  • Long and Lean Tanks or Liz Lange Maternity Tanks, both from Target. These will serve you well in all trimesters (I still keep them as a layering staple in my closet when I am not pregnant) but you will find them particularly useful in trimesters 2-4. A must for nursing as well! Black is the color I recommend. Be sure and match to the Tissue Tee listed below.
  • Long Sleeve Tissue Tees from Target. These will layer over the top of your tanks for warmth in the colder months. As mentioned above, you want to get a matching color to the tanks to keep your layering discreet. This is particularly useful when you are out and about and nursing. I never use a cover and no one notices me nursing… this is my magic trick! So, again, black is the color I recommend.

** You only wear black clothes the entire time you are pregnant?**

Good question! No, but they are the primary staple that I wear under almost everything. Black is very flattering to the baby bump and will look nice with almost any color layered over the top. A white/white combo is my second go-to favorite!

  • Full panel maternity jeans. You will need 2-3 pairs depending on how often you wash. I get two in a couple of sizes (have I mentioned that I gain about 60 pounds when I am pregnant? I haven’t yet delivered a 50 pound baby… so it goes elsewhere on me!) I have bought jeans from just about everywhere and other than the awesome score I found one lucky day at TJMaax, I have to say for the money Old Navy is where you need to go. And if you are tall like I am they offer talls!
  • Leggings. Many, many retailers offer leggings. And they are so comfy and cute. I like them best in the fourth trimester when I can wear an oversized sweater/shirt on top until my regular jeans fit again. Word to the wise- Leggings are not pants- especially when you are pregnant! Cover your rear! ;)
  • Maxi skirts and dresses. By far the most comfortable thing you could purchase! I am not really a skirt gal (love my jeans!) when I am not pregnant, but I think I might be after last summer when I wore them every day. You seriously feel like you are wearing your pajamas, but look super cute at the same time! I would wear a maxi skirt with a long and lean tank in the second trimester (sometimes layering a chambray shirt or jean jacket on top) almost every day. I bought 3 maxi skirts and three dresses, all from JCPenney and Target. The maxi dresses will come in handy any time you want to dress up. I wore the swim cover up maxi dress (Target) to a wedding and with some jewelry looked as formal as anyone else. I grew out of my maxi skirts after the second trimester, but the dresses still fit beautifully. I expect to be wearing the skirts again after baby is born during the fourth trimester.
  • Short fitted dresses. Hubby loved this one dress in particular. I would wear it with tall boots and layer a jean jacket if needed on cool days. These fitted dresses are fantastic in your second trimester when you have that perfect sized bump to show off!
  • Short empire waist dresses. I have a non-maternity dress from Maurices that I have had for ages that I keep as a staple (pregnant or not) to wear to more dressy events such as church and funerals. Look for a good fit just under the bust and flare from there.  My dress is short sleeve and during the winter months I layer a tissue tee underneath and a long grey wool sweater on top.
  • Belts. You need belts! When you can find a stretchy non-maternity top that will fit your bump it finishes perfectly with a belt. The belt helps define your bust from the belly and is a great way to pop a color or tie in with your shoes/handbag.
  • Jewelry. During the summer in particular I was sure to always have a statement necklace or lightweight scarf on with my Long and Lean tank. This will bring the eye up towards the face and gives you a chance to make the same outfit look differently.
  • Cardigans. I use non-maternity cardigans as well as a few that are maternity. My favorites are the non-maternity ones though because they are smaller than your belly. So you have your cute baby bump sticking out and the rest of you covered in the cardigan. Magic trick to instantly make you look slimmer!!!  PS- Wear a belt over the cardi!
  • Jean Jacket/Chambray shirt. These layer wonderfully just like the cardigans do. And they are lighter weight for summer/fall months when you don’t need the warmth. I love that they are neutral as well so you can wear them with just about anything.
  • Yoga pants/ Sweat pants. Yoga pants should be the fold over top, and sweat pants should have a nice wide band.
  • Shoes. I know many a fashionista that rocked her high heels while pregnant. (Kudos to you if that is you!)  Especially after you have your first (and are chasing/carrying said toddler) you will find flat or stable shoes are a must. I love my tall riding boots, slip on loafers, booties, sandals, and flip flops. Ugg style boots would also be great.

Fourth Trimester: Initially you will still be wearing your maternity clothes. Be prepared to leave the hospital looking 5 months pregnant. I was so surprised at this when I delivered our first! My mom went home wearing her pre-pregnancy clothes… so I assumed I would as well. And although that sometimes does happen I think it is more of an exception than a rule. For this pregnancy I did end up ordering the Belly Bandit for post-pardum compression. I will let you all know what I think of it after I try it out for the six weeks they recommend.

  • For nursing: Keep wearing those Long and Lean tees with a Tissue Tee over the top. As I mentioned above I will post after baby is here about how I use these to nurse without a cover and still be discreet. I don’t have one of these necklaces, but am hoping to get one. And I can’t stress enough- underwire free nursing bras.
  • For pumping: (Unfortunately I am an expert at pumping, I exclusively pumped for 9 months with our first.) You need this bra and the car adapter for your pump. Here’s to multi-tasking!!!

What you don’t need to buy:

  • A maternity coat. Unless you live in Canada and then I might forgive you. Maternity coats are a marketing ploy if you ask me. Layer up and if you can button one button, then call it good!
  • Pajamas. Raid the hubby’s closet. An oversized t-shirt and a pair of shorts will get you through. :)

If you want some more style inspiration please check out my Maternity Style Pinterest Board.  Over 100 pins that will send you to where I have purchased from and/or outfit inspiration.

Third Trimester Winter Maternity

Here is a current photo of me and the babe!  We have tried two weekends in a row to take some family photos with the belly and it hasn’t worked out either time.  Since it snowed I thought it would be good to hop out the back door and snap a photo just in case this little boy comes before we get our family shoot done.  I practice what I preach!  Wearing the Tissue Tee, Old Navy Jeans, and Forever 21 Cardi (belted).  Simple and chic.

And my question for you…  What are your thoughts about getting the obligatory ‘MomChop’ haircut after baby?

The Nursery


Setting up the nursery is one of the most fun things to prepare for baby!   When we were choosing furniture and decor six and a half years ago I also remember how intimidating it was.  There was SO MUCH cute stuff out there, and much of it outrageously expensive.  We knew we were having a girl at the time and were trying to keep it gender neutral but I was not totally able to stay off the pink-frill-train.

Fast forward a few years.  We had moved and were expecting a boy.  I put up the same pretty green wallpaper in the nursery and handsome hubby got everything moved in… but somehow it looked REALLY girly.  I was working at the time and didn’t have the time to dedicate to updating it for our little guy.  So we left it basically as it was… changed the crib sheet to blue and went with it.   The entire time I would sit nursing in the glider I would think about how I wanted to change the room, but never got to it.

This pregnancy is quickly coming to a close.  A big part of my New Year’s GOALS are to complete the rooms in our house that didn’t get decorated when we moved in sooner than anticipated.  (Note to self:  Never move into an unfinished house!)  So the nursery is first up on the list.  Here is a tour of the space in it’s current condition.

The Nursery |

The chair is a glider hand-me-down from Handsome Hubby’s great grandmother.  I love, love, love the history in that.  When we were asked if we would like to have it for the nursery several years ago it was a medium brown wood glider with hunter green fabric.  We decided to have it recovered (an awesome gift from my in-laws!) and we selected an heirloom looking quilt from JCPenney as well as coordinating skirting fabric.  This chair by far is my favorite piece in the nursery.  As you can see it is pretty pink.  I am going to try my hand at making a slip cover for this baby boy.  Something off white with a navy piping I believe!

Floral Lampshade

The lampshade I made!  This is really simple if you want to try it.  I picked up an inexpensive simple shaped shade and then placed the silk floral tips one at a time, poking a hole in the shade to set them in as I went.  You can’t beat a “fresh” bouquet greeting you in the nursery for late night feedings if you ask me!

Nursery ChandelierThe chandelier.  A gift from last Christmas that I was shocked to receive.  I had been at an estate sale in town and had fallen in love.  I most likely was swooning about it because I had absolutely no idea that it would eventually be mine.  LOVE!

Posh Tots Iron CribThe iron crib was a splurge.  I wanted to have something that would last through several children and would be an heirloom piece.  It is no longer available from Posh Tots but you can find a similar one here.  We had a crib bedding set (skirt and bumper) made to match the glider chair and I will be re-making something else that will be a bit more boy-ish this time.

Nursery ArmoireThe armoire is a central storage station since this room does not have a closet.  All of the baby’s clothing I keep folded and organized by size in the drawers of the changing table but this serves well to hold blankets,  carriers, the breast pump, toys, and a surplus of diapering supplies.

Changing TableAnd the changing table.  I need to have it  pulled to the left and move the laundry to the right (also where my trash can will be).  I like that set up because I am right handed and it makes it closer for me to reach as well as it hides the dirty laundry in the corner a bit more.

All of my furniture and decor selections were done back before Pinterest.   If you are in the planning stages for a nursery here are two of my favorites for inspiration: Lay Baby Lay and Project Nursery.

PS-  I cannot stress enough, if you are decorating a nursery for the first time-be intentional about your selections.  Babies grow out of their rooms SO. FAST.  In the blink of an eye.  Don’t overspend. Make sure that what you do select will easily work for future children or will grow with them!   Don’t stress too much… that nursery will be perfect as long as they have you to hold them and love them.


Post Pregnancy Home Recovery

Post Pregnancy Home Recovery

Post Pregnancy Home Recovery

If you are like me you want to have as many things done ahead of baby’s arrival.  When we had our first we were sent home from the hospital with a list of items to pick up at the pharmacy.  No fun when you would rather just get home!  So I have made a short list of what you may want to have on hand before baby to save an errand once your bundle has arrived.

#1)  Pain Reliever.  You will want to ask your medical professional which type and dosage that they recommend, particularly if you are breastfeeding.

#2)  Tucks.  These are awesome!  Hemorrhoids or not it will help cool and soothe the area especially if you had tearing or stitches.

#3) Peri-Bottle.  The hospital should give you one.  But in case you don’t want to pack it home or want an extra on hand, it is good to go ahead and get one.  You use these bottles filled with warm water to rinse after urination and then pat dry with paper.

#4)  Dermoplast Spray.  Spray relief right where you need it.

#5) Stool Softener.  This is a must!  Your first bowel movement will be more painful than childbirth without it.  Follow the hospital’s instructions on how much/often to take.

#6) Belly Bandit I have not used one before but am considering trying one this time.  The bandit is a compression girdle that helps your uterus shrink back to size during the first weeks following delivery.  Tell me!  Should I order one????

**And it goes without saying… you also need maxipads!  There are many great ones that you will like better than what you can remember from middle school now… Always Ultra Thin with wings are fantastic!

What to Pack for the Hospital: {The Essentials}

What to Pack for the Hospital

What to Pack for the Hospital

Downloadable PDF:  What to Pack for the Hospital

I got our bags packed over the weekend and I feel a little closer to being ready for baby!  As a mom that has done this for the third time now I thought I would share what I believe to be the essentials in your hospital bag.


For Mama: (I should preface this portion of the list with the fact that I am planning an epidural birth.  For those planning a natural birth you obviously need additional items for comfort/focus/relaxation.)

  •  Birth Plan, Insurance Card/ID, and Admission Papers
  • Gum/Hard Candy-  Very comforting when all you can have in your mouth is ice chips!!
  •  Normal toiletries; including makeup/hair; hairbands, chapstick.  (Don’t overlook your makeup!  I didn’t pack any with the birth of our first and regretted not having a little ‘face’ on for photos at the hospital.)
  •  For Nursing: Lanolin, Nursing pads, Breast Pump  (Check with the hospital where you deliver.  Many will provide you with Lanolin and the nursing pads, although some charge you additional for them.  All hospitals have breast pumps available but if you want to get to know your own bring it with you!)
  •  Going Home Outfit- Including layers for nursing/comfort.  Give yourself some grace and plan that you will still be about the size that you were when you were five months pregnant.  I am packing a comfy velour pant/hoodie set with a tank and tee layered underneath.
  •  Nursing Bra and Panties- My favorite panties are the Hanes no ride up Bikini for the days following birth.  If you have a favorite nursing bra without underwire please share!  I have used the Gilligan & O’Malley brand from Target in the past and like them… just still looking for one to LOVE!
  • Socks
  • Flip Flops-  (Better than slippers in my opinion because they are easily washed when you get home or tossed.)
  •  Maxi Pads with wings.  The hospital will provide you with pads (and disposable mesh underware) but you will feel more comfortable in a thinner maxi and your own panties as you are about to leave.  Be sure and get the ones with wings for extra protection!
  •  Phone Charger
  •  Cameras.  This time I am taking my DSLR and the camcorder.  In the past I have taken only my point and shoot and although I have loved those precious images no matter how they were taken I am not satisified enough with the quality of the point and shoot.  I will have the settings ready to go for hubby and let him take it from there :)
  •  Vitamins/Meds-  Be sure and pack those pre-natals!
  •  Extra Bag for hospital stuff-  You will be surprised at the additional items that the hospital will provide you with.  Having an extra bag on hand to tote it to the car with is wonderful. (PS-  bring your rolling luggage to make all of the haul even easier!)


For Daddy

  •  Normal toiletries
  •  Change of clothes including a sweatshirt!  Hospital rooms will vary in temperature and your husband will thank you when he has something warm to put on while you are delivering.  Mamas won’t realize how cool the room is (we are doing all the hard work!) while the dads are freezing.
  •  Underware/Socks
  •  PJ’s
  •  Flip Flops (ditto above)
  •  Snacks/Water-  Hospitals take really good care of their patients!  And while most are accommodating of dads as well, they are not first priority.  If your husband is anything like mine food is a key factor in comfort.  The entire time you are in labor/delivery (and for some time after) there will be no food or drink in the room.
  • Small Bills/Change-  For late night vending machine runs.
  •  Pain Reliever/Vitamins/Meds-  We found out the hard way with our second delivery to be sure and pack pain reliever.    Hubby had a headache that was on the verge of a migraine and the hospital staff could not help him.
  • Phone Charger

 For Baby:

  •  Car seat-  If you are a first time parent plan on having the state trooper install/inspect your car seat ahead of time.  Proper installation will become second nature, but I know I was glad to have the guidance and help when I had never done it before.
  •  Going Home Outfit(s) including scratch mittens and hat-  The hospital will provide you with a lightweight hat but you may prefer to bring another that matches the going home outfit and/or possibly a little warmer especially if you are having a winter baby.  Be sure and have a couple of sizing options on hand!  A newborn weighing 7-8 pounds will fit in newborn size.  If you have a 9 pounder like we usually do you will need the 0-3 month size.  PS-  You may also want to pack a gender neutral outfit just in case your little boy was hiding ‘the goods’ during your prior sonogram.
  • Blanket- Something to cover the baby from the weather.  (Even summer babies should be covered when outside!  Just use a swaddle blanket (love Aden & Anais brand!) instead.
  •  Finger Nail File-  Hospitals will not provide you with nail clippers or files.  If you want to reduce face scratching you can file baby’s nails.  I advise not to clip them because it is SO EASY to clip too close and cut them.
  •  Diapers and Wipes-  The hospital will provide you with diapers and wipes so you don’t actually need to take these into the hospital.  You should keep a stash in your car though for extras on hand the entire time your child is in diapers.  It will lighten the load you have to carry in your handbag!  And keep you always with extra supplies close by.
  •  Footprint Paper/ or Album-  Hospitals will make footprints for your keepsake album if you have the book/supplies with you.


Items that many include but I don’t feel necessary:

  • Laptop/Tablet-  Many, many people pack these in their bags.  And although I am all for entertainment I want to concentrate on the events. We will have a TV in our room.  We both have smart phones.  We will have a NEW BABY to stare at and share!  And just think… hubby and I might have an UN-interrupted conversation! ;)
  •  Nursing Pillow-  I took my Boppy for our first delivery and have never used it since except for a baby propping device.  In my opinion the Boppy is not near supportive enough to breastfeed on.  I never have used a My Breast Friend pillow, but from my friends that have them say they are the way to go if you are set on purchasing a nursing pillow.  Instead I use pillows and the glider/rocking chair that the hospital provides.  A very wise charge nurse taught me to put a pillow behind my back and to fold one over the arm of the chair (where you place baby in the football hold.)  As a baby gear minimalist I have been thrilled with one less thing to buy and tote… and it works great!
  •  PJ’s for mama-  It is very tempting to pack your PJs.  But the reality is that while you are in the hospital your gown is what you will have on almost the entire time.  The nurses will need you to be very lightly dressed to have access to check you frequently.
  •  Pillow-  This one is debatable.  Obviously you want to be comfortable!   If you do feel the urgent need to take your own be sure you have it in a pillow case that is distinguishable (a print is best!) from the hospital’s.


So, is there anything I forgot?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you found to be a must in your bag!  And please share with your new mama friends as well! xo Janalin

As a part of my All About Baby Series tomorrow I will be posting what to stock up for your recovery at home!


For this child I prayed

For this child

For this childFor the first time I stood shaking with a pregnancy test in my hands and joy in my heart.  Tears streamed down my face as I prayed that this child would be His and that I be a blessing and teacher to this child for His will.

No, this is not the story of my first pregnancy.  I am ashamed to say that until this past year of my life I have taken children and the ability to have them for granted.  Our first pregnancy was a surprise.  And my emotions of a tightly wound- nearly type A- personality were not happy about the calendar reshaping that was coming in the next nine months as we prepared for our daughter.  Our second was hyper planned.  We had gotten so good at NFP that we not only knew when we could get pregnant we also knew which day(s) would give us the best chance at having a boy.  And a boy we got.

Although I fiercely have loved both of our children while I was pregnant I have never had a reverence for the gift of the child.  I expected it.  On demand.  I believe I learned this from our culture.  Babies are to be avoided at all costs until you want one and then they are pursued no matter what the price tag. I turned 34 this year and I know that children are no longer a right. I am surrounded by so many friends… many younger than I.. that have not had so much luck.

So this child that we will soon meet has been prayed deeply for. This gift of another life… another sibling for our children… another warrior for Him has been laid at my feet. And I know with deep reverence the burden that is being placed in my shoulders to raise this child up. Please rejoice with me and pray for the light of life that has been given. God is so good!

Our due date is January 25th!  And it’s a BOY!  Join me over the next 30 days in my All About Baby posts!  Monday I will let you know what I will be packing in my hospital bag.

xo Janalin

Circumcision Care for Newborn Boys

circumcision care

When we were at the hospital shortly following the birth of our son they came in to take him for his circumcision. I balked. Emotions were high as I was holding him and I just couldn’t fathom doing something so horrible.  Granted, I had the previous nine months to have researched this, but in that moment… I knew I did not want to send our precious  boy away to do anything that would cause him pain.  In the end, the procedure was done and I had to rely on my calm, level-headed husband’s guidance.

The hospital told us the care guidelines for the circumcision. We were to leave the p*nis alone for the first several days and apply vaseline so the diaper would not stick to the area. Easy enough. We did that and seemed to be healing up fine.  But as several healthy-baby pediatric visits went by I was troubled at the fact that the doctor had to loosen (or un-attach) the for*skin each time.  And each time it would seem to be worse and more painful to do.  When our son was 15 months old our family doctor said that we were likely candidates for a second circumcision since we couldn’t seem to get the area to heal without re-attaching.  I. WAS. DEVASTATED.

I asked the doctor what I could do so that I might possibly be able to avoid the second procedure.  He recommended bringing the p*nis fully out of the sheath and cleaning it once a day and then applying vaseline at the bottom of the head.  I decided to follow those directions but to also add two more times per day when I brought the p*nis completely out.  So during a regular day I would clean it three times and apply vaseline once.  This simple change in how I was caring for our son has made the difference.  He has healed 100% and we have avoided the second circumcision.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  To heal a circumcision, we  have to  clean the p*nis by bringing it completely out of the for*skin daily (or more as needed) and applying vaseline until completely healed.

My hope is that all of you new moms- and moms to be can read this and see how SIMPLE caring for your son can be.  If only I had proper instructions from the start (where is that baby handbook anyway!) all of the painful appointments for our son could have been avoided.

What about baby care have you learned that no one told you?