Newborn Essentials: Vol. 2

newbornessesntialsvol2I’m back with the second part of my newborn essentials. The items from your registry that you need to take care of your newborn for the first four weeks. Feeding your newborn and changing diapers seem to take up most of your time so for tips & essential items needed for those moments be sure to read the previous post (HERE).

Bath Time:
Once that baby’s umbilical cord falls off (takes 7 up to 21 days) you are free to finally give them a bath in a tub. Until that happens you can give them a sponge bath on a towel and make sure you just keep that belly dry!First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!
Bath Tub. Because your baby will drown if you place them in a regular bathtub you need an infant safe bathtub. I suggest an infant tub that comes with a sling (or a built in one) that holds them safely away from water and with their heads elevated. There are so many kinds on the market but we have the Summer Infant Soothing Spa & Shower that we used with Lily and now with Chloe. The tub allows me to give Chloe a bath on the kitchen counter or in my bathroom. It comes with a sling that is unattached that I would actually bring with me to hotels when I traveled with Mike and Lily. The best part is the motorized shower that sprinkles enough water to wash the soap off my babies but also light enough for their sensitive skin. The shower brings a calming sensation that both of my girls love! Plus it detaches so you can still use the shower in the regular bath tub when they get older.

Body Wash & Lotion. Until both of my babies lost their umbilical stumps I used Mustela facial cleansing wipes to clean their faces and bodies. The alcohol free wipes are perfect for cleaning & soothing their sensitive skin in between sponge baths. The smell is heavenly and they are perfect to quickly clean their face and neck when they spit up (such a strong horrible smell!). I still keep the wipes in my diaper bag in case Chloe spits up in public and needs to be cleaned up. In order to give the baby a bath you obviously need soap, this is a no brainer. There are so many kinds of baby shampoos and this is all up to you. With my sensitive skin I use Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo (their calming lavender option is great too!) and I’m a big fan of BabyGanics fragrance free shampoo (Target always has great sales on them). For lotion I recently switched from Aveeno to BabyGanics’s lotion simply because I found a better deal at Target one day!

Bath Time Accessories. Of course you need a towel to keep you baby dry and a washcloth to help you clean them during the bath. You can always use your own to save money, but I’m a sucker for Pottery Barn Kid’s Critter Wraps. The towel’s hood looks like an animal with eyes and ears like a pig, frog or bunny (plus you can personalize it with their name too!). Other items needed are Q-tips to dry the ears, I suggest you get the Q-tips made especially for babies & kids that prevent the tip going too deep inside their ear (try Johnson & Johnson Safety Swabs). Most babies don’t have too much hair, but both my kids were born with a full head of precious locks. Due to their sensitive skin and soft spot you need an infant hairbrush. Get The First Years American Red Cross Deluxe Healthcare & Grooming kit where you can get a great brush along with a comb, nail clipper, scissors, nasal bulb and other great items. FYI the scissors that come with this are my favorite when it comes to trimming your baby’s nails. The other accessory needed is a baby thermometer in case your little one gets a fever. I love the Advanced Solutions Easy Read 4-in-1 thermometer from Safety 1st. This one only takes 5 seconds to record readings when taking it by oral or rectal. Tip: Since we take temps via the rectum I place a big “R” in black sharpie on the outside container of this thermometer to remind mike & me that it is the “butt thermometer”. For some reason I have three thermometers and the last one I want in my mouth is the one I stick up the kids bum even if I clean it after each use!

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Baby Gear:
Holding and snuggling with my newborn babies are some of the most special moments that I will hold on to. Their tiny feet and legs pulled into their bodies while a tiny fist lays against their face as they sleep like a log on my chest…{insert ahhhhhhh}. But you need to go the restroom, brush your teeth, take a shower and still do everyday tasks and holding that newborn makes those tasks difficult or impossible. Not only do some of the following items make it easier to brush your teeth, a few are great for stimulating your wee one!

Swing. Oh my swing is my biggest lifesaver as a mom. Both my girls (like most babies) need movement to fall asleep. A swing will help give you a break and rock your baby to sleep for you! Especially if you have a toddler and need to make their breakfast or lunch, just place your baby in the swing while you get some stuff done. True story: both of my girls take THE best naps while in the swing so I leave them in it instead of placing them in the bassinet or crib. There are all kinds of swings on the market so get whatever one works in your price range. Tip: Get a swing that plugs into the wall and doesn’t depend solely on batteries. The batteries will burn out so quickly with all the use, so save the $$$ and just get one that plugs in. We have the Fisher-Price My little Snugabunny cradle swing and love it!

Bounce Chair. The bounce chair also allows me to get stuff done around the house. The chair is easier to take from room to room where the swing is too much of a hassle move around your house. I bring the bouncer in my bathroom so I can take a quick shower. We place the chair next to the table when Chloe is awake so we can quickly eat a meal while simultaneously make funny faces and cooing sounds to pacify her. We love our Fisher-Price My Little lamb Bouncer.

Play Mirror. You can use a floor mat like Infantino’s activity gym to stimulate your new baby, but it’s not an essential item for the first 4 weeks. You can get through the first four weeks without one along with a play mirror, BUT our play mirror has saved me on numerous times. I will place the Sassy Crib and Floor Mirror next to Chloe while I change her diaper if she is crying to help entertain her. I also place it in her crib to entertain her while I’m putting laundry away.

Bassinet.  If you read my post about the essential items for nighttime feedings you will understand why having a bassinet next to your bed at night is so important for the first few weeks. Fact: I’m that mom that kept her baby sleeping next to her for 5 months before I made the transition to the crib, so this is an item I got my money’s worth! Tip: If you have the room you can always use a pack-in-play instead of a bassinet. We have The First Years Carry Me Near sleep system, where the top bassinet can detach and you can carry the top anywhere in your home to stow your sleeping babe.

Swaddle with Velcro. Again read the post about essential items for nighttime feedings for my reasons needing swaddles and ones with Velcro! I also list my top three favorite swaddles.

Binky & Binky Clip. Oh binkies can help make your baby stop crying and help soothe them to sleep. Do you need another reason why they are essential? Check out the nighttime feedings post to learn more along with why you need a binky clip too!

Blankets. Swaddling your baby helps soothe them and keep them sleeping. A favorite blanket moms all love are the muslin blankets from Aden + Anais.  The light material helps keep a baby from overheating and you can use them to swaddle them, cover your self when nursing, cover the car seat from the sun while out or as a floor mat!

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Noise Soothers.  A lot of babies need some kind of noise to lull them to sleep or calm them down when they’re crying. I didn’t need my sound machine until the second week. We have The First Years Sounds for Silence sound machine. There are 6 different kinds of white noises, 6 Mozart songs and a volume control to make it really loud or super soft. Another favorite soother is the Cloud b Sleep Sheep. Get the smaller ‘on the go’ size that you can attach to your baby’s car seat to help soothe them in public. There are great apps for your smart phones that have all kinds of white noises and check out my nighttime essential post for a few great ones to download!

Clothes. Unless you are a nudist you need clothes for your baby! Depending on their birth weight most babies will grow out of the newborn size pretty quickly, but it is the size you will use the most during the first four weeks. Check out Babycenter’s checklist for a good idea on what clothes are needed for newborns! I found the zip up body suits were helpful during the newborn stage since I was changing so many diapers! Check the post on nighttime essentials on why gowns are crucial for newborns and your sanity!

Car Seat and Stroller. You can’t even leave the hospital without a car seat so this is obviously an essential item for a newborn! Unless you plan on carrying your baby and the car seat everywhere you will want a stroller too! There are so many different kinds of car seats and strollers out on the market so this is up to what functions you want and what price range you are comfortable with. Tip: Make sure that your car seat is compatible with your stroller if you are getting different brands.

Baby Carrier. I didn’t use a baby carrier with my first baby during the first 4 weeks. I stayed inside mostly to recover and when I left the house for doctor’s appointments I used the car seat and stroller to carry her around. With Chloe I used my baby carrier the second week when Lily was crying to go on a walk around the neighborhood. I love our ERGObaby carrier. Note to use this carrier with a newborn you will need to get the infant insert to support your newborn baby within the carrier.  I know a lot of moms love carriers like the Moby Wrap, but I found the thing to be too difficult to figure out. Plus with a toddler running around I don’t have the time needed to wrap myself with the thing. To each their own! ERGO has recently released their ‘Four Position 360‘ carrier that allows babies to hang their legs down more similar to the BabyBjorn so they can face forward. I have gottem a lot of use out of my ERGO with the infant insert so far, but now that Chloe is older and wants to face out I went out and purchased the BabyBjorn in shear desperation. I wish ERGO had released the 360 when Lily was born because it has the best of both carriers in one!

Diaper Bag. You will not be able to place all the items needed for your baby in your clutch. Diaper bag come in all kinds of sizes, fabrics, colors and price ranges so it is all up to you on what you want! Tip: try filling your diaper bag up with items when you get home and walk around your house. I returns my first diaper bag because I thought the handle was cutting into my arm once I finally filled it. Some important items to have in your diaper bag at all times: diapers, wipes, burp cloths, extra baby outfit, disposable boobs pads & small disposable diaper trash bags.

Any item you thing is an essential item for the first 4 weeks?? Be sure to read the first volume HERE and the items needed for the crazy nighttime feedings HERE!

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Newborn Essentials: Vol. 1

Fabulous post on all the essential items you need from your registry for the first 4 weeks with your newborn, including some great tips! Great pin for all soon-to-be-moms!{photo cred: Niki Schmidt Photography}

Registering for your baby can be overwhelming especially for first time mommas. When you register for your engagement you are signing up for items you would like for your home. When you register for a baby you are asking for items to basically help take care of another human being. Add first time mom anxiety over how to take care of a baby plus the huge registry checklist and it can make the calmest of soon to be mommas a nervous wreck. Good news is you won’t use or need all the registry items with a newborn. Will the first four weeks be tough…yep.

True all your baby does is pee, poop, sleep and cry when they have a dirty diaper, they’re tired or if they’re hungry. Sound simple? Well while you’re trying to physically recover from birth you can/will be an emotional wreck trying to find your way as a new parent as your body deals with the influx of hormones (heard of the baby blues?). Toss in a crying baby that you can’t figure out how to calm after three hours of sleep and you can understand the craziness that takes place that first month. Add another kid to the mix (like a sassy toddler in the throws of the terrible twos ahem ahem) and it is anything but simple. To bring some comfort to any of you nervous mommas I thought I would share the items of the registry you will use to take care of your babe for the first four weeks.

Since nighttime feedings are brutal during the first four weeks I already posted the essential items needed and suggest you read that post first (post HERE). Since most of those items are needed during the daytime as well I won’t go into repetitive detail. Remember I have a free printable checklist for anything and everything you could want when registering for your baby, check out that post HERE.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!
Changing Time:

Diapers & Wipes. Do I need to really explain why these are needed?? Tip: Because you will not know how big your baby will be at birth and how fast he/she will gain after born it is a good idea to have both newborn and size 1 diapers stocked and ready! Be sure to check out this tip on diaper wipe cases for your changing table! {optional is a diaper caddy, check out the nighttime essential list to find out why!}

Hand Sanitizer. I always keep a sanitizer pump next to the changing table in case I get sprayed with pee or poo. Golden showers fountains will occur and (this is TMI) your baby’s poop will be liquid until you introduce solids so beware of liquid poop squirts. So keep sanitizer near by to help clean your hands before you can get to an actual sink. I also keep a small pump bottle on my kitchen counter for all visitors to sanitize their hands before they touch the newborn. And because I’m OCD I keep a small bottle in my diaper caddy (more on that later) for nighttime feedings and a mini bottle in my diaper bag. The brand I buy is Target’s Up & Up and the one with aloe because it doesn’t dry up my hands, I like the smell and it’s cheaper!

Butt Paste (diaper cream). Babies can get diaper rashes so it is better to be prepared just in case. The diaper cream I’m obsessed with is Boudreaux’s Butt Paste (the all natural one with green label) because of natural ingredients, it doesn’t have such a strong smell like Desitin, and it easily wipes off the irritated bum. Note that the natural version I prefer over the original because it wipes off easier.

Alcohol Wipes. To help the umbilical cord stump dry up you can rub the area with rubbing alcohol. All pediatricians are different, but mine suggested to wipe the stump once to twice a day. You can dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol or use a small alcohol wipe. I suggest using the wipe because it is easier and the wipes don’t take up a lot of room. You can place a few at the changing table and in the diaper caddy to be used at night. The hospital usually has some free ones on hand next to the diapers they supply. Make sure you take home some extra ones home with you or you can buy the wipes from any drugstore. Tip: I use my extra wipes to help remove sticky store labels from items like plates or Tupperware!

Changing Pad. As I mentioned above you will run into golden fountains and “the squirts” so you need a changing pad to save your changing table or your bed during 3 am diaper changes. You can also roll a changing pad up for your diaper bag for on the go diaper changes. There are all kinds of waterproof changing pads on the market, check out the Munchkin waterproof changing liners. The best changing pads are the ones you can snatch up from the hospital! Check out the essential items for nighttime feedings to read all about it HERE.

Disposable Bags/Diaper Genie. A Diaper Genie is necessary to keep the smell of nasty diapers from stinking up the nursery and to keep any pets away. True story: Bentley destroyed a few dirty diapers that I left in a small trashcan next to our bed when Lily was born. They were number two diapers and it was everywhere! I was dry heaving while yelling for Mike to come to the rescue. So to make sure Bentley didn’t attack any more dirty diapers I placed them in disposable trash bags. In the morning I would just tie off the bag and toss it in a trashcan. Place a few of the disposable trash bags in your diaper bag as well to store any nasty explosions you encounter when a trashcan isn’t around while you’re out! For $12.99 you can get a box of 250 from Babies R Us.

First time mom? Great list on essential items from your registry to care for your newborn for the first 4 weeks. A pin worth saving!Feeding Time:
I’m exclusively breastfeeding baby number two and I breastfed Lily until she was seven months. For this post I’m listing items needed to help breastfeeding mommas for the first month, but most items are still needed for bottle fed babes too!

Boppy Pillow. Holding up your baby with your arms while breastfeeding is a workout. So give those arms a break (especially at 3 am) and use a Boppy nursing pillow. Of course you can use any couch or pillow on your bed to help prop up the baby and your arm while feeding, but it’s so much easier to use a nursing pillow. When using a Boppy you don’t have to worry about moving and propping pillows when you switch to the next boob. You can easily wash the pillow if/when your baby spits up on it. Best part…this pillow can be used as your newborn grows to help support them to sit up and for tummy time.

Burp Cloths. Spit up will happen so you will need a burp cloth when feeding your newborn. Of course I love super cute monogrammed burp cloths, but most of the time I use cheap white cloth diapers as my burp rags. One, they are cheap. Two, because they are cheap I don’t care if I loose one or if it gets stained. Three, babies can puke a lot and you can get a pack of 10 for $12.99 from Target…so you get a lot for the cheap price! Tip: Get the flat fold cloth diapers (NOT pre folded, they are too thick) and you can re-use them to dust your house when your baby grows up…win and win.{I use the ones from Gerber}

Paper & Pen. For the first week you will keep track of your babies feedings not only for the nursing staff at the hospital, but for your baby’s pediatrician on that first doctor’s visit. It doesn’t have to be a fancy document, just grab some paper and keep track of the time you started feeding and for how long. Tip: Make sure you right an “L” or “R” next to each feeding to remind yourself if you started that feeding on the left or the right boob! Tip: The hospital provides a form for you to record feedings/pees/poops for the nurses, so ask them for an extra(s) for you to use when you get home.

Nursing Bra & Pads. Is there any real need to go into why you need a nursing bra? My absolute favorite nursing bra is the Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bra. It comes in multiple colors, has no underwire, removable cups (but I use disposable pads), it’s seamless and SUPER comfy. For a cheaper alternative (but just as good) try Basics Stella maternity & nursing bra from Target.  Your boobs will leak milk…so to prevent an embarrassing leak moment or from waking up in a soaked nightgown place disposable boob pads in your bra. You don’t have to worry about washing them and their slim size is perfect for your diaper bag or clutch for date night! I love the disposable pads from both Lansinoh and Medela.

Nipple Cream. When I nursed Lily my nipples took a beating the first two weeks until she and I adjusted to nursing. Lily didn’t latch right and I got blisters for the first few days…yes blisters on my boobs how awesome! To help soothe my sore nips I applied Medela Tender Care Lanolin and it worked wonders. This cream is safe for me and my baby, comes in an easy to use tube, easy to apply and doesn’t have some crazy organic “soothing” smell that will annoy me in 20 minutes. I like organic products, but I don’t need my boobs to smell like lavender or mint folks!

Milk Pumping. If you want to have some saved milk for those just in case moments (date night, want to enjoy a bottle of wine or for working moms) you can pump those boobs! I’m not going to go into details on how/why or when because I only pump periodically (usually in the mornings), but I will suggest the items I use to make it easier for you! I use the Medela Pump In Style advanced breast pump (the backpack version). The backpack can hold all needed accessories while being portable & discreet! I highly recommend a double pump because it is faster. To keep it simple get the Medela storage bags that you can pump directly into, scribble the date on it and pop it straight into the fridge or freezer! Pumping is just awkward and always makes me feel like a cow being milked. Make your life easier and free up your hands while pumping and get the Medela easy expression bustier that will hold the pumps in place so you can talk on the phone, change a diaper or Instagram pictures of that adorable babe. No need to explain why you would need bottles if you are pumping as your newborn can’t chug straight from the freezer bags! There are so many kinds of bottles that is is really up to you, but I’m a big fan of Dr. Brown’s bottles. Tip: To save money contact your local hospital and speak with the lactation consultants about renting a pump directly through the hospital. You will still have to purchase some of the accessories for sanitary reasons, but you will save money if you only plan to pump for just a few weeks or months.

So this is half of my list of essential items needed for your newborn. With my Chloe and almost three year old it is a miracle I was able to get this post up! Look for volume 2 soon!

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Surviving The Third Trimester

Awesome post with tips on surviving the third trimester! Includes a FREE printable checklist to prepare you for the hospital and a list of interview questions when searching for your baby's pediatrician! A pin worth saving! Third trimester ladies…Wooo Hooo almost there!! Even though you’re closer now to meeting your little, the third trimester can seem to stretch longer than the other two. You are too excited (or nervous) to finally meet your baby, your body is sore (& HUGE) from growing a human and you’re just plain tired…all of this makes the final trimester seem to lag on and on. BUT you will get there and the wait is worth it!

If you gained energy back in the second trimester, look out for the exhaustion to creep back with the third trimester. Now every pregnancy is different, but most women typically become more tired even with the excitement for the pending birth. Totally expected when carrying around an extra 30 pounds of weight, you have a human inside your body kicking your ribs and keeping you up at night with frequent bathroom visits!

Now just like my other posts on the first & second trimesters, the following lists some ideas, thoughts and products to help you survive the third trimester. Remember there are plenty of symptoms that you can experience that may not be listed in this post. Check back to the other posts for other symptoms, do a simple internet search to find out more and be sure to speak with your OB if you have any questions or concerns about something you are experiencing (I’m no expert)!

Pamper yourself! I know I listed this as a survival tip in the second trimester post, but it is so important to treat yourself during the homestretch! In the third trimester you body grows even bigger causing you to experience swelling and ache all over your body. Take sometime to pamper yourself with a pre-natal massage or a little extra foot rub while getting a pedicure…you deserve it!

3D and 4D Ultrasounds. Now most OB offices offer 3d/4d ultrasounds to get a clearer image of your baby; however, your insurance may not cover it. A regular ultrasound gives you a side profile shot of your baby, where a 3 or 4 D ultrasound gives you a realistic image of your baby’s face and body. You can watch as your baby may smile, suck it’s thumb, give a pouty face or even yawn. You can see if you baby has your chubby cheeks or your husband’s nose. If your OB does not offer this do a quick internet search for local business that offer this or ask your OB as they might have a location that offer’s their patients a discount! Getting these awesome pictures is a great way to survive the homestretch as a reminder that the horrible back pain your experiencing is totally worth it!

Finalizing the nursery. Getting the nursery finally set up is a great way to kill time during the final weeks! Remember to look at the registry checklist to make sure you have everything you need! Find my free printable checklist HERE.

Insurance Prep.  Prior to giving birth make sure you contact the insurance company that your baby will be covered by and find out what they need sent to them after the baby’s birth to make sure they are covered. Make sure to ask when they need the birth certificate and/or other paperwork as some insurance companies have deadlines post birth for these to be turned in to assure coverage.

Hospital Prep.  Now I was a week late with Lily and with only two weeks lift with baby number two, who knows when I will go into labor. So being prepped and ready to head to the hospital at any moment towards the end of the third trimester is important! I have a free printable checklist of items needed to make your labor and post delivery stay comfortable! For that list click HERE.

Something to help kill time is finding out what hospital you would like to use when you go into labor. Some cities (like Tampa) have several hospitals as options and in some towns you may only have one hospital. Whatever your city/town has call them and see if they offer tours of their facility for prospective parents. These tours can help narrow your decision and/or help with any nerves some parents may have regarding labor and delivery. Plus the nurses and/or staff members who give these tours are a wealth of knowledge for any and all questions you may have! Plus the tours are free!!

Another way to prep for the hospital is pre-registering at the hospital prior to going into labor. Some hospitals make it super easy and offer online registration, but some you might have to stop in and physically fill out the paper work. Pre-registration just helps speed up the process of admittance when you are experiencing painful contractions! When you pre-register make sure you have your insurance information, your baby’s insurance information (under your policy or your partner’s), your OB’s name and number and the pediatrician’s name and number. One last thing to prep yourself for the hospital is getting that car seat installed in the backseat! At the hospital where I gave birth a staff member actually checked to make sure there was a car seat and it was installed properly before they allowed us to leave with Lily!

Hospital Playlist. An important item (for me) on my hospital checklist is my ipod. Music has always been important to me and having my ipod with relaxing music to listen to while I was experiencing contractions with Lily was a HUGE comfort to me. I made a playlist of relaxing music and another playlist of regular tunes that were upbeat, made me smile and helped kill time during the long labor process. Lily took 11 hours to arrive! So prep that ipod or ipad with music playlists that will help comfort you and make you smile while you wait to meet your baby. I also made a playlist full of sweet lullabies that I played Lily post delivery in the hospital and even at home during late night feedings to help soothe her to sleep!

Maternity Pics. To get them or not to get them is the question! Yes your body is HUGE and you may hate the way you look, but you may regret not capturing this special moment! Plus your kid will love looking at the photos! I have a maternity picture in Lily’s room and she loves pointing to it and knowing she was in my belly. It has been a great way to talk about this pregnancy with her. Now you can spend money on a professional or just have a family member take some candid shots in the backyard. Since I have been so sick during this pregnancy I was never up to getting professional shots, so we had my mom take some pictures in her back yard and they work for me!

37weekspicFinding a Pediatrician.  After your baby is born a pediatrician typically likes to have you visit them a few days post birth to check weight and then start the monthly well visits. To make sure you are ready, take the time during this trimester finding a pediatrician you like. Now if you already have kids and have the doc picked then great! Just make sure you contact them and see if they have any paperwork you need to fill out prior to birth to make the first office visit easier. If you are a first time parent ask your OB or friend’s for their referrals on pediatricians in your area. Set up interview appointments to meet the prospective docs to see who you like best. I did a whole post about this and included a free printable list of questions to ask pediatricians during your interviews! Check it out HERE.

Now on to some “fun” third trimester symptoms…

Heartburn. Some women experience heartburn throughout their pregnancy, but some will only experience it towards the end. With your baby taking up so much room in your belly, you can experience painful heartburn after you eat or drink. Sometimes it can happen even before you eat or during the night while sleeping! Tums can taste like chalk, but I have found their smoothie flavored ones easier to take as the dissolve easier and taste better. I keep a bottle next to my bed with a glass of water. To help you might want to break up your breakfast, lunch and dinner into multiple smaller meals throughout the day so you’re not overfilling your stomach. Make sure you stay away from food and drinks that have higher acid levels that may trigger heartburn. When you go to sleep try propping your head with added pillows to help keep the stomach acid down. I have known women who can’t sleep laying down towards the end of their pregnancy and have slept in Lazy Boy recliners to help with the acid reflux….whatever works right!!

Sciatica. With the added weight gain and having a human being inside your body pressing on your back you can experience sciatica. I had it with Lily and with this pregnancy as well. Sciatica is a horrible pain that affects a nerve running from your back down to your leg. My pain is always on my right side in my lower back and radiating down over my butt. When experiencing this pain I take it easy and try and rest my feet. I use a body pillow at night and while hanging out on the couch with the family I always place pillows around my back & belly to help give me support. The one thing that has always helped with the pain is stretching! I stretch throughout the day and right before bed to help keep the pain away. For the best stretch do the following. Raise the leg on the side you’re experiencing pain and prop the leg on your bed, counter or couch. Bend this leg at the knee so it is perpendicular to you body (bent at a 90 degree angle). Now slowly start to lean towards this leg while also sitting back on the other standing leg. Make sure you hold on to the bed, counter or couch. Hold this for 30 seconds and back away. Repeat a few times. Warning you will feel a painful stretch, but it only means the stretch is working and will help relax the tight muscles and reduce the pain in the nerve! (Read more about sciatica here.)

Wet Undies. “Because peeing your pants is cool….well if peeing your pants is cool, then call me Miles Davis.” I have repeated that line from Billy Madison a couple of times after I have had a few “accidents” just to put a smile on my face from the humiliation of wetting my undies. Keeping it real ladies…you could possibly wet your drawers while pregnant and you can certainly run into this dilemma even after giving birth. A simple sneeze cough or small chuckle can cause you to “dribble” like a toddler or a granny wearing Depends. Kegel exercises are highly stressed during your pregnancy to help strengthen your muscles down in the lady region. To read more about them click here.

Even though I did them while pregnant with Lily I still found myself crossing my legs while out in public when I felt a sneeze coming for fear of public leaking! Now with this pregnancy I’ve felt the fear a lot earlier than the third trimester. I have literally waddled super fast to the bathroom a few times when Mike has caused me to laugh super hard at one of his corny jokes. The only advice I can offer is just roll with it. If wearing panty liners brings you peace then do it OR you can repeat Adam Sandler quotes to lighten the mood like me!

Boob Leaks. Yes you read that correctly. Not only do your boobs grow to sizes that will make your eyes big as saucers, they might start leaking as your boobs work hard to start producing milk. Don’t be freaked out…it is totally normal. Typically only a small amount will appear and after wiping it will stop. If you continue to leak pick up some nursing pads from Babies R Us or Target and place them in your bra to prevent leaking to your shirt.

Carpal Tunnel. During my first pregnancy I started having a little tingle feeling in my hands and sometimes a few numb fingers. It escalated to painful aches (especially at night) and when I asked my OB I was told that I was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome from all my swelling. It last a few weeks after giving birth, but went away eventually. I have yet to experience it during this pregnancy since I have kept my weight in control. With all the fluids the hospital pumps into you during labor I had crazy swelling after birth, and knowing this I will be prepared just in case I experience this painful symptom. To help with the pain I purchased wrist braces that with firm compression and keeping my hands from constantly bending helped reduce the pain. To read more about this lovely pregnancy symptom read here.

Hemorrhoids. Yep these third trimester symptoms keep getting better and better don’t they!!! Yes its embarrassing letting the world know that I’ve had hemorrhoids, but listen I’m keeping it real by disclosing some of the unglamorous predicaments you might find yourself in during pregnancy and post partum. With Lily I only experienced these after giving birth from pushing for two hours! I was given some witch hazel pads and prescription ointment from a doctor to help calm them. My mother affectionately calls hemorrhoids the pregnancy gift that keeps on giving because once you get them they can reappear later on in life.

With this pregnancy they’ve appeared a few times. Once after a day standing and walking the zoo with Lily the pressure made them appear for a few days. During one of my nesting phases I felt the need to power wash the backyard and only after an hour of standing I started to feel them.  I have been constipated a few times during this pregnancy and the pressure of this caused the nasty buggers to appear as well. To help you can make sure to eat plenty of fiber and drink plenty of water to stay regular. Don’t sit on the toilet and push too hard…If you can’t go don’t strain yourself. Use flushable wet wipes to clean your bottom because regular t.p. can irritate the sensitive area. Don’t stand for long periods of time and make sure to rest by propping up your feet (and lie on your side to keep pressure off your sore bottom). You can purchase Tuck Pads and hemorrhoid creams like Peparation H to help soothe the area and make the swelling go down. Fill up your tub with warm water to soothe your bum that way too. If they are super bad, especially after birth use a doughnut pillow (can be purchased at your drugstore or hospital supply stores) to help sitting on your bum less painful.

Braxton Hicks/Contractions. Believe it or not your body starts contractions early on in your pregnancy and a majority of women won’t even feel them at all!  Braxton Hicks are unpredictable, not rhythmic and typically more uncomfortable than painful. Towards the end of your third trimester you start to experience the Braxton Hicks more often and if they intensify its considered “false labor”…something I experienced this past Wednesday. I started to have horrible contractions and when I started to time them they where becoming more rhythmic and were lasting a lot longer then the average 30 second ones I had been previously experiencing. After an hour and a half of these contractions where they were lasting a minute long and happening every 9-10 minutes I called my OB. I was given directions to drink two full glasses of water, lay down and time them for another hour. If they stayed the same I was to call back…but if they started to space back out I was to continue to rest and drink more water. Sure enough mine slowly started to space out and become less painful. I was just dehydrated and needed the rest. Needless to say after being sick for 9 months straight and having those painful false labor contractions I broke down in tears that I wasn’t really in labor. So I have more waiting to do! To help with contractions make sure you stay hydrated. Take it easy and rest! If your contractions are happening frequently make sure you time them! Go back and check out the pregnancy apps I talked about in the post about surviving the first trimester. Most of the pregnancy apps come with a contraction timer. I used the timer on the Pregnancy + app and found it super easy to use. (again head back to the previous post for a link to this app)

thirdtricomfortFor my comfort items this trimester I still use most of the ones from the previous trimesters so make sure you read those posts to check them out!

I pretty much live in black maternity leggings. I buy mine from Motherhood because they are always on sale. They are super soft and come in different colors. In store and online there is always a great sale on there leggings (usually buy one get one 50%).

I have turned to reading A LOT during this pregnancy. I have found that concentrating on reading my Kindle keeps my mind off complaining/concentrating on the nausea that I have yet escaped! I have the Kindle Paperwhite and love it! It’s simple to use and I can read in any degree of light there’s no squinting like reading an iPad. Since I’m an Amazon Prime member I have access to tons of books that I can rent for FREE or purchase at a greater discount! Kindle might not take my nausea away, but it helps take my mind off it! Plus it kills time while waiting for all my OB appointments!

As you read above flushable wet wipes bring extreme comfort for those dealing with hemorrhoids! I buy Target’s brand for the cheap price.

My free printable checklist to prep you for the hospital has helped me pack my bags, even if this is my second time! Read above for a link to the free printable!

If you are planning on nursing then you might want to purchase a few nursing bras prior to birth just to be prepared. I have started wearing my nursing bras because they are so much more comfortable than my regular bras with underwires! When I’m sitting the bra’s underwire cuts into my huge belly and it’s just uncomfortable. Target has some great options that won’t break the bank! I’m obsessed with my Bravado Body Silk Seamless bra I found on Amazon. It is super comfy, comes in other colors and the low front and back works great with different style shirts. I still wear sports bras all the time (check my comfort items from the first trimester to see my two favorite sports bras!).

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  1. Kimberly commented:
    February 24, 2014 Reply

    you guys look great!

  2. joyce romano commented:
    February 25, 2014 Reply

    Amy, You guys look great in the picture. Soon you will be the mother of two little girls. Your day will soon be here. Love you,

  3. 94Dedra commented:
    August 1, 2017 Reply

    Hi admin, i must say you have hi quality posts here. Your blog
    should go viral. You need initial traffic boost only.
    How to get it? Search for: Mertiso’s tips go viral

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The First Trimester on February 24, 2014 at 1:07 am

    […] trimester that even has a free printable checklist for when you register! Also read all about surviving the third trimester that has a free printable checklist to prep you for the […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Second Trimester on April 28, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    […] not an expert or OB please check with your doctor for any concerns you may have. Read all about surviving the third trimester that has a free printable checklist to prep you for the […]

  3. […] to go through another trimester??? Yep folks I discussed all about surviving the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy but let me share the reality of the postpartum stage or what I like to call […]

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Simplicity Series

I’m so thrilled to be a part of the Simplicity Series over at one of my dearest friend’s blog, Miss Emily Ley! Emily has been featuring this wonderful series on her blog for awhile and I was tickled to be a part of it! This series features women in different stages of their lives sharing six products and/or tips that help make their life more simple so they can spend their time on what matters!

So hop on over to Emily’s blog and check out my part in this fabulous series! Click HERE


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Baking Cookies With A Toddler

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler!! So don't stress about the mess & make some memories with your kid!! A HUGE part of the holiday season, for me, is baking delicious cookies. I have wonderful memories baking cookies as a kid and it became a tradition with not only my mom, but with my nana too (my mom’s mom). My nana and I would always make gingerbread men. I remember standing on the chair, decked out in my mini apron, making a mess and enjoying sneaky tastes of batter/frosting/toppings. I can even recall picking off the raisins (used for buttons or eyes) because I hated the way they tasted after baking.

Lily is at the perfect stage to start this favored tradition. For an OCD freak, the thought of baking with a toddler would normally have me heading for the hills. Well today I have some thoughts & tips on how to bake cookies with your toddler!

Take A Chill Pill. Not literally….but go ahead and take a deep breath before you start. Most likely this will be a messy experience…but take it for what it is…an experience for you to make a memory. Your toddler may or may not remember, but you will.

Choose an easy recipe. Don’t make this harder on your self and choose a recipe with too many ingredients and 12 steps! For Lily’s first cookie experience I went super simple and used a cookie mix from a bag that only needed two additional ingredients! It was also one that didn’t need egg, so I didn’t care if she stole tastes of the dough!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Let your toddler help. What fun is it if you do all the work and your kid only gets to stir for a hot second? With the cookie mix, I let Lily pour the bag into the bowl (with assistance), and I let her hold the measuring cup of liquids when we both dump it into the bowl. Lily’s favorite part is the mixing. I give her a spatula and let her go at it for a while. After a minute I’ll grab the utensil and with her help, I will finish mixing the dough. If you need to use a hand mixer allow your toddler to place one hand to help guide. Obviously before you use the mixer explain that your toddler’s fingers need to stay away from the bowl and/or bottom of the mixer or they will get a Boo-boo. The warning of getting a boo-boo is enough of a warning for Lily!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Prep. Before you even get your toddler involved make sure you are prepped and ready! Make sure all your ingredients and the correct measuring cups are out. Melt your butter first. Beat that egg first in a small bowl that your toddler can easily pour into the mix. I don’t have one of those toddler step stools, so I just pull a chair up to the counter. This is another reason to have the ingredients ready because you do not want to leave your kid standing on a stool while you grab the milk from the fridge! To continue the apron tradition, my mom gifted Lily & I matching monogrammed aprons! Now whenever I tell Lily we are going to bake she bolts to the pantry to grab her apron…it is so adorable that I always stop and watch her do it! If you don’t have an apron, put one of your husband’s t-shirts over your toddler’s clothes! It will help keep them clean….or cleaner than if they didn’t have it on! OR if you’re like me and you plan messy activities in the am…just keep your kid in their pajamas! After the mess, just toss the pjs in the hamper!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! If you are making sugar cookies using cookie cutters like we did then I have a great tip. To contain the mess (as much as you can) and make an easy clean up, use a cookie sheet that has edges as your work station. Damp a wash cloth and place it under the cookie sheet so the tray stays still and doesn’t move around on the counter. Sprinkle some flour on the tray and then let your kid spread it around and help you pat the dough out!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! My best advice is find a cookie cut out that has a handle to make it easier on your toddler! Now most likely your toddler will just go crazy with the cutter and will not place the cookie cut outs right next to each other…who cares! Let them have the fun! Just keep rolling the extra dough together, pat out again and allow them to continue making their cookies!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Sneaky sneaky. They WILL attempt to eat the dough or place utensils in their mouth. It is inevitable! If you are uncomfortable with the whole raw egg, then you might want to try one of those bag cookie mixes that do not require eggs. But let’s be honest….licking the spoon and testing some of the cookie batter is part of the whole experience!!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Frosting. We went simple (again) and bought pre-made frosting that came with a small pack of sprinkles. Once the cookies were cooled, Lily got her own small cup of frosting with one of her toddler knifes to spread on the cookies. If you set your standards high for some Martha looking cookies…then you need to re-think again. While your toddler is having fun smearing some frosting you can decorate a few on the side….so you can have some pretty ones! But more than likely you will have some crazy looking cookies with way too much frosting or barely any! Remember it is all about the experience!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler!If you are adding sprinkles place some in a small bowl and allow your toddler to pick up a few at a time and sprinkle. I have used the kind of sprinkles that you normally just lightly shake over the cookies…but with a toddler there is no light shaking. The one time I used those with Lily, she ended up dumping most of the sprinkles on one cookie!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler! Remember to just have fun with it. You will have more of a mess to clean up than usual. The cookies might not look as pretty as your usual ones. BUT they will taste yummy and your toddler will have a blast!

Great tips on baking cookies with a toddler!

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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    December 24, 2013 Reply

    She’s so cute! I love the determination on her face. So excited to see her big girl room, too! Merry Christmas, Amy!

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Dressing The Bump

dressingthebumpTruth…I HATE maternity clothes. Probably because my body totally morphs while pregnant and I don’t feel comfortable in anything. Yes while pregnant with Lily I gained an asinine amount of weight causing me to feel and look like Free Willy. I have kept myself in check with this pregnancy, however as I mentioned my body morphs while there’s a bun in my oven. My hips expand causing me to look and feel like I’ve gained more weight than the scale suggests. My boobs inflate so much I rival Dolly Parton, and any toned muscle becomes too relaxed and flabby.

Combine my lack of appreciation for my pregnant body with the fact that 90% of the time I can’t find anything that makes me feel cute….you can see why I just hate maternity clothes period!

Don’t get me wrong there are some really cute options out there…I’m just self-conscious in everything I put on! So to make shopping a little easy on all you soon-to-bes I have compiled a list of companies and websites that sell maternity wear! I’m sure there are plenty of other sites that won’t make it on the list, so please leave a comment and share places you shop with other readers!



Old Navy

J Crew


A Pea in The Pod


Destination Maternity


Rosie Pope





Belly Dance Maternity

Top Shop



Isabella Oliver

Ingrid & Isabel

Don’t forget eBay & Amazon too!

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Second Trimester on February 24, 2014 at 12:54 am

    […] Speaking of bumps….yours will appear this trimester. You will finally exit that annoying stage where you know your pregnant, but a complete stranger might think you just love Duncan Donuts a tad too much! Need help finding clothes to dress the bump?? I did a whole post on stores and online resources for maternity wear- read HERE. […]

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Surviving The First Trimester

The first trimester of your pregnancy can be are some simple tips and ideas to help you survive it!As I enter my second trimester with my second babe I thought I would share my thoughts & tips on surviving the first trimester. There are quite a few first trimester symptoms that can be rough like exhaustion, cramping, outrageous acne, and extremely sore nipples. It seems that the most common first trimester symptom that can be the roughest is “morning sickness”.  If you are one of the lucky ones that has been blessed not to experience this…I envy you.

If you’ve been reading along with me you know that this pregnancy has been pretty brutal as far as “morning sickness”. And like I’ve said before, a man must have coined the term using morning, because it can last all day and all night. At 14 weeks I’m still battling the nausea, however, I am experiencing longer breaks between what I call my “nausea attacks”. Over the last week it seems the nausea kicks into gear more in the afternoon and carries on until I go to sleep. I still get moments in the morning of oncoming queasy feelings, but I just chug my water and continue to snack every two hours to keep my stomach full. Surviving the nausea can take up a whole post, and it did…read all about my tips on morning sickness here.

Nausea, extreme exhaustion, sore boobs, headaches, hormonal rages, constant need to pee (I average 3-4 times during the middle of the night alone), round ligament pains, bloating, cramping, bleeding….yep I’ve had it all just in this pregnancy. If it’s your first pregnancy all these changes to your body can be shocking (like instant Dolly Parton boobs!) and scary. Regardless if it’s your first or you’re on your third pregnancy, I suggest having resources readily available to help you understand your symptoms and your baby’s growth.

Some books & apps to help you (& the daddy-to-be) survive your first trimester! Some other great tips & ideas to get you through to the second trimester:) With my first pregnancy I purchased a few books, but the two that helped the most during the first trimester were: What to Expect When Expecting and Your Pregnancy Week by Week. Towards the end of your first trimester once you feel safe and comfortable with it, buy a baby journal and start to capture all the first feelings you and the dad-to-be are experiencing!

One hurdle that most pregnant women don’t expect to jump are issues with the daddy-to-be. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself (& from convos with my girlfriends), but I expected my husband to just get it. To just understand that my sudden mood swings and over sensitivity were from the raging hormones and not that I was just a witch. That he needed to let me vent and literally cry over spilt milk. Well guess what ladies- some men won’t get it. They might understand that our boobs are sensitive and that our backs hurt…but when it comes to being okay with the mood swings, they will swing right back. I knew that no matter how many times I explained to my husband that the hormones were making me act crazy, he just didn’t understand. So I went looking at the bookstore for some help and found the greatest pregnancy book for men. Knowing Mike would never read three pages of a step-by-step pregnancy book I opted for one that spoke in guy humor. Pregnancy Sucks For Men was probably the best purchase ever. Three weeks after I gave it to Mike he came up to me out of the blue and told me he understood now what I was going through and would try to be more understanding. To a hormonal pregnant lady that made me burst into tears. Mike just needed to read or hear it from someone else other than his “nagging” wife. That book ended up helping Mike be the most supportive husband over the rest of my pregnancy.

Not wanting to lug around my pregnancy books with me I downloaded a few apps to my phone. You will find that most weekly and monthly alerts from books, apps and websites tend to say the say things…but because growing a human being inside your belly is so damn awesome I don’t mind re-reading that by babe has fingernails and is the size of a peach. My favorite apps are the What To Expect (from the famous book series), Sprout Pregnancy, BabyBump, Pregnancy + (from Health & Parenting) and My Pregnancy Today (from Babycenter).

Great blog post filled with comfort items, tips and ideas to get you through the first trimester! Plus plenty of ways to cope with the awful morning sickness!Besides the books and apps, here are other items that helped me survive the first trimester.

Aquaphor. For some reason my lips dry up like the Sahara Desert. Aquaphor lip balm is my saving grace and I apply it all day long to keep my lips from cracking.

Comfy bed & pillow. My bed is my oasis. Some might like a gigantic bathtub or a huge closet, but my bliss is my ultra soft bed with plush pillows. Some days I have been so sick I haven’t gotten out of bed and having my comfy pillow made that nausea suck just a little less! So if you hate your pillow or have been dying to get some nice sheets….go get them. Enjoy this time to sleep & spend money on yourself…because once that baby comes you will have plenty of other stuff to spend your money on (like diapers) and sleep…well what the heck is that???? You don’t really need to buy a pregnancy pillow this trimester. If you find that placing a pillow between your knees brings you comfort towards the end of the first trimester then just use a small pillow. Unless you’re having twins you won’t have much of a belly the first trimester, so no need to spend your money on those pregnancy pillows yet!

Prenatal Vitamins. Of course you have heard to take your prenatals, I’m here to tell you about a great deal on them (because they can be expensive!). I found that the CVS drugstore brand has all the vitamins that you need including folic acid for a fraction of the cost (found here). You can get a bottle of 300 tables (enough to last through your entire pregnancy) for $19.79 where most regular prenatal vitamins cost around $20 for just a one month supply!

Hydration. Staying hydrated is important during your pregnancy. For me I have “thing” while I’m pregnant that the water has to be cold for me to drink it….room temp makes me gag. So I carry around a thermos type jug filled with ice water all day. I love it because it looks like a mason jar! Find it at Walmart here. (Target has them too, but of course Wally World sells them cheaper).

Tums. Acid reflux is no fun. Even if you stay away from triggers you can still get it. Tums help but they are gross. I found the ones that I could stomach were their smoothie flavored ones. They dissolved quickly too!

Toothbrush. Yes my toothbrush has helped me survive one pregnancy symptom…bleeding gums. While pregnant your gums can become swollen and bleed so find a soft toothbrush to help minimize the bleeding.

Comfy Bra. Most women experience a growth in their boob size and/or their boobs become sore. I lived in (& still do) Champion sports bras from Target and the super soft racerback pullover bra from Gap Body. Note that your bra size can get even larger so don’t go overboard buying multiple expensive bras at this stage! If you are planning on breastfeeding your cup size will get even BIGGER once the baby arrives!!

Below the waistline (the TMI section). Sadly constipation can develop during pregnancy due to the hormones causing your digestive system to slow down. Make sure you drink lots of water and eat plenty of vegetables. To help constipation I take the stool softner Colace (Ob suggested Miralax too). One thing to know about stool softners is that you need to keep taking them to continue to help. It is not a one pill and your cleared kinda relief! The ONLY way I obtained any instant relief was using enemas. Yes it is a gross concept of squirting a saline solution up there, but in less than one minute I was flushed out and felt amazing.

Remember to listen to your body and do what it says. If you’re tired then take it easy. Between morning sickness and exhaustion don’t beat yourself up for not committing to every engagement you’re invited to. Kick those feet up and rest! If this is your second or third pregnancy and you have littles running around like me then rely on your baby daddy for some help. Have a birthday party to go to?? Have your husband go solo with your kid (it’s funny how much more they respect our jobs as moms when they have to take care of the kid!). When you do get the energy to cook for your family try doubling the recipe and make a freezer meal for future use. If your like me and choose to order take out often, then just make healthier choices. Try not ordering Papa John’s two nights in a row!

The first trimester can be brutal and I hope these ideas and products help someone survive the first part of their pregnancy!

Please note that these are just some of the symptoms you can experience, not all of them! Since I’m not an expert or OB please check with your doctor for any concerns you may have. Be sure to check out tips on surviving the second trimester that even has a free printable checklist for when you register! Also read all about surviving the third trimester that has a free printable checklist to prep you for the hospital! 

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  1. Amanda commented:
    April 8, 2014 Reply

    I just found your website and am so glad. I am finishing up my 1st trimester with my second bundle of joy. It is hard running around after an almost 18 month old, while pushing through the morning sickness and exhaustion. This pregnancy has been different from the first, and sadly, at some points, I feel that I haven’t been able to enjoy it like the 1st. The pampering is just not there. I think that the hubs forgets that I am pregnant again as I work full-time, and run our household. Here is to 25 more weeks!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      April 10, 2014 Reply

      Welcome to L & B Amanda! You are SO right with not enjoying the second pregnancy as much as the first. I didn’t have the time or energy to enjoy the pregnancy this time, especially since I was sick up until I gave birth! Hopefully once you really start getting the belly it will be a physical reminder to your husband how demanding and taxing pregnancy is. Men sometimes just need to spelled out or physically laid out in front of them to realize things! Stay strong momma and enjoy the last few months with just 1 kid…two is a whole new ballgame!!

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Second Trimester on January 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    […] Head back to read my thoughts & tips on surviving the first trimester, as I might discuss things that you are just experiencing in the second trimester! (click HERE) […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The Third Trimester on February 24, 2014 at 1:06 am

    […] just like my other posts on the first & second trimesters, the following lists some ideas, thoughts and products to help you survive […]

  3. […] Surviving the First Trimester from Lily & Bliss […]

  4. […] know you have to go through another trimester??? Yep folks I discussed all about surviving the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy but let me share the reality of the postpartum stage or […]

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Tips & Remedies for Morning Sickness

Dealing with horrible nausea from morning sickness?? Check out these great tips & remedies to help cure or keep the nausea at bay! Well I would like to report that I’m feeling great and past the morning sickness….but I’m not. Glass half full = At 11 weeks along I can see the light at the end of the first trimester tunnel (let’s just pray that the nausea doesn’t follow me into the second trimester!). Another positive, over the last two days I have had a few brief windows in between waves of nausea where I don’t feel that bad. My stomach still feels crappy, but I feel like I can tackle normal activities like hitting the grocery store. BUT then I go to the store and I’m hit with way too many smells (I hate that the seafood is so close to the fruit & veggies!) that I can’t get out of Publix fast enough.

I think anyone who has experienced “morning” sickness has immediate empathy for anyone else experiencing it. If you have been graced with the opportunity of a non-nausea pregnancy then just imagine the most horrible hangover ever and multiple it a couple of times….

During my pregnancy with Lily I was sick, but it wasn’t everyday. I also didn’t experience such violent waves of nausea. Yes I said violent because some days I have felt like I was hit by a 4×4. I have spent countless days in bed all day, only getting up to pee and to ask Mike (or my mom) for something to nibble on. I would just curl in a fetal position, put a sleeping mask on to block the light and concentrate of breathing. Sounds weird, but with my stomach swirling around I thought focusing on slow deep breaths would help prevent me from throwing up. Between this pregnancy and Lily’s I have tried just about anything to help with the crappy morning sickness. All I can do is hope and pray that it ends…because it will. As a mom already, I know it will….but I have to tell that to myself everyday.

So I thought I would share some tips and ideas that I’ve been doing in hopes that maybe it brings relief to someone else! Being honest, nothing has really helped to get rid of the nausea, only keeping it at bay really.

FOOD. Even though the mere thought of chewing and swallowing food made me start to feel queasy, I sucked it up and nibbled away when I was at my worst. I found that I need to eat every two hours. Since nothing sounds appetizing I have kept to bland options. My doctor said I should stick to the BRAT diet (banana, rice, applesauce and toast). Carbs have been my best friend and help give me energy.

For breakfast I have turned to Cheerios with sliced strawberries or bananas, scrambled eggs & toast, pancakes (no syrup) and oatmeal. On mornings where I have low nausea, I take the time and make oatmeal from scratch with raisins, cinnamon & agave nectar. But I usually grab the instant oatmeal and use my hot water tap for an immediate meal.

Lunch and dinner are the same options. A baked potato, grilled cheese, any kind of pasta, small salads and small pizzas (using Boboli crust, a little pasta sauce, & shredded mozzarella). I’m surprised (& grateful) that with this pregnancy I haven’t craved greasy foods. I was a fast food junkie with Lily and it was one of the main reasons I gained so much! This time around if it’s too greasy or has too much spice or flavor I can’t do it. With a bland diet and the need to eat every two hours it has been tough. Food has become just a source of energy and just sitting down to eat has been miserable. There have been many nights where I have to go lay down or curl up on the couch after I eat and just pray that the food works to keep the tidal wave of nausea down.

Snacks. When the nausea is really bad I reach over to my nightstand where I have a box of oyster crackers. I have to snack on a few handfuls before I can even get up in the morning. So keep some saltine crackers or even cheerios for easy access in the morning. Don’t be surprised if you need to grab a few crackers during the middle of the night too! I have been woken up countless nights feeling horrible and if the crackers didn’t help I grabbed a banana or a cheese stick. Keep some water on that nightstand to help wash down the crackers as well. One snack that could be considered an actual meal are those pre-made peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches made by Smuckers. Found in the freezer section, these sandwiches thaw out quickly and help fill a grumbling stomach! One week I think I ate 2-3 of them a day!

nauseapbjfinStay Hydrated. I have a little plastic mason jar cup (found at Walmart or Target) that I carry around with me. I have that thing filled with ice water all day long. I place a few drops of lemon juice in my water throughout the day (supposed to help settle your stomach). Try Ginger Ale, Sprite or 7up. Ginger Ale was actually too strong for me, so I took small sips of Sprite some days. I don’t know what it is, but Coke tastes good and hits the spot on some days. I have to drink the Coke over ice and with a straw (weird I know). The straw part sounds funny, but it is the only way I drink anything…even the water. I just take small sips. With Lily I found sour drinks like lemonade were easy to keep down.

Smells. Mike still can’t understand how simple everyday scents send me over the edge. Like coffee. Yep I can’t stand the smell of it. I used to drink 1-2 cups a day. Now the smell makes me queasy.  To let Mike keep his sanity I gave him the green light to continue making his morning brew, but I made him move the coffee maker to his office so it didn’t affect me. I haven’t sprayed perfume either. Since I have sensitive skin my laundry detergent, body soap and lotion are scent free, so no changes there. The grocery store is full of awful smells so I have relied on Mike and my mom for grocery shopping. Air fresheners and candles can be too strong so they are off limits (except one candle that has a very fair smell, I light it because I like the flicker of light at night).

Medication. Currently I’m on my third prescription….a big thanks to my OB and her on-call nurse for all my desperate sobbing voicemails for relief! Don’t be afraid to turn to medication for help. Talk to your Ob about it. I tried Zofran, Reglan, and I’m now on Phenergan. The only downside with Phenergan is that it knocks me out, so I can only take it when I know Mike or my mom are watching Lily. Also Unisom & B16 taken together is supposed to be a great way to tackle the nausea, but it didn’t work for me.

nausearemediesMotion Sickness Wristbands. Found at drugstores or Target, these motion sickness wristbands that help with seasickness are suppose to work with pregnancy nausea…sadly these didn’t help.

Preggie Pops. This candy is made from natural ingredients and supposed to bring you relief….just not for me 🙁 You can find these at drugstores, Target, Walmart and Amazon).

Ginger. There is something about ginger that is supposed to settle the tummy. Ginger candy chews, ginger crackers, ginger ale and ginger herbal teas didn’t do anything to help my condition.

Peppermint Candy. While at CVS getting my motion sickness wristbands Mike was actually stopped by a stranger and asked why he was getting them. When he told the woman it was for his pregnant wife she suggested getting a bag of peppermint candy with directions of sucking on two at a time to keep the nausea down. I tried but I just couldn’t do it. Problem is I can’t stand peppermint…I’m a spearmint kinda gal and I struggled with those two mints on the drive back home. As soon as I got into the garage I spit them out in the dumpster.

Miscellaneous. My nurse told me to try and eat my food at warm temps, not extremely hot. I also take my prenatal vitamin at night. Those vitamins are chalked full of important nutrients for your body, but it can also upset your stomach. Taking it at night while I’m sleeping seems to help. Emphasis on “seems” because I’ve consistently felt horrible with all these remedies!

I asked folks who follow me on Facebook and Instagram what helped them and got some great responses (thanks Ladies!):

“Peggie Pops”

“Ginger ale & bagels”

“I chewed gum and it helped”

“I put baby shoes by the toilet (weird, but it helps the focus) the book Jesus Calling & peanut butter pie…”

“I had a prescription filled for these suckers called B-natal. I also no joke would go to sleep smelling grapefruit peels and it would help.”

“Jolly Ranchers were my saving grace”

“Nibbling on a handful of almonds always did it for me”

“Ginger candies. The ones they sell at Whole Foods near checkout (Chimes is the brand I think) and ginger cookies (the ‘cat cookies’ from Trader Joes that are like animal crackers in a tub)”

“Anything with lemon in it helped me”

Things I’ve heard but never tried:
Aromatherapy (scents like mint and orange are supposed to help, but I’m staying clear of scents in general!)

Reading this post I’m sure you picked up on the word “supposed” used a lot. These remedies are supposed to help, but they just didn’t help me. If your struggling with nausea try it all, like I did…because you never know what will work! After dealing with this for 7 weeks now I’m still up to try anything…well anything but acupuncture- I hate needles.

To end this loooooong post (that has taken me a week to create because I get too sick to finish!) I have to extend thanks to those that have helped me through this horrible nausea. First up is Mike. He has been single parenting for weeks now and taking care of Lily and me! He makes the food, goes grocery shopping and spends his weekends and after work hours taking care of a toddler (who has been really sassy lately) on his own. No down time for him lately. He has always been my rock.

My other rock has been my mom. Living only a few minutes away she comes over everyday while Mike is working to help take care of Lily while I’m curled up on the couch or dying in bed. She has bought me groceries, cooked us meals, done my laundry (even putting it away one day!) and has kept my house tidy. I don’t know what I would do without her!

For a few days my mom was away visiting my Aunt in Charlotte, Mike was on the road for work and I was left to fend for Lily and myself. I broke down. Literally calling my dear friend Emily Ley balling my eyes out. My sweet friend and her awesome nanny, Danica, took Lily for a few hours the next day so I could lie in a fetal position in bed. Emily & Danica have hearts of gold I tell ya. Emily also popped by my house with a bunch of small containers packed with cheese, crackers, grapes, pretzels and cucumbers with humus. She also found some Sour Patch watermelon candies because she remembered I craved those with Lily. I’m so truly lucky to have that woman in my life!

I have been blessed with some great lady friends who call and text me all the time checking on me. When I was placed on bed rest they created a meal train to feed me, making sure to stick to some comfort foods that wouldn’t rough up my stomach. Thank you Elisa, Rachel, Emily, Kelsey and Mckay…I love you ladies. Mckay (of Oatmeal Lace Design) also sweetly dropped off a McDonald’s biscuit on my doorstep one day. They helped her during her pregnancy and let me tell you it tasted amazing! Those things are gold!

Anything missing on this long list of remedies that helped any of you readers??? I’m still up for trying other options!!!

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  1. Amana commented:
    January 11, 2014 Reply

    I’ve heard that if you eat carbs right before you go to sleep it significantly reduces the morning sickness.. I’ve never had the chance to try it out but who knows 🙂 P.S. tip came from my nursing prof.


    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 29, 2014 Reply

      Thanks Amana! Since I’m sadly still experiencing the nausea with only 6 weeks to go I will try it out!

  2. fast proxy list commented:
    August 11, 2017 Reply

    What’s up,I log on to your new stuff named “Lily & Bliss | Tips & Remedies for Morning Sickness” regularly.Your humoristic style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing! And you can look our website about fast proxy list.

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | Surviving The First Trimester on September 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    […] If you’ve been reading along with me you know that this pregnancy has been pretty brutal as far as “morning sickness”. And like I’ve said before, a man must have coined the term using morning, because it can last all day and all night. At 14 weeks I’m still battling the nausea, however, I am experiencing longer breaks between what I call my “nausea attacks”. Over the last week it seems the nausea kicks into gear more in the afternoon and carries on until I go to sleep. I still get moments in the morning of oncoming queasy feelings, but I just chug my water and continue to snack every two hours to keep my stomach full. Surviving the nausea can take up a whole post, and it did…read all about my tips on morning sickness here. […]

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Backyard BBQ Party: part 2

I’m back with part 2 of Lily backyard BBQ party celebrating her second birthday!

twochalkboardLast year I created “A Year of Firsts” chalkboard for her first birthday and it seemed to be a huge hit all over Pinterest. I used the idea again, but created “Another Year of Memories”. There are so many firsts that she encountered over the last year but many of our favorite memories were “repeats”! So to make it easier I just printed all the photos from the last year and taped them up on the same chalkboard (that I created here). I used a chalk pen to label a few of the pictures like “first walk”, first haircut”, “Disney World” and “1…2….3 ER visits”!

twoblockplayareaThe DIY fabric garland that hung on the chalkboard collage also draped my mom’s TV area where we had plenty of toys for the toddlers to play with (including some toys from my childhood!). I love some of these sweet photos I got of Lily and her buddies, Beckett & Brady. These kids are just so adorable!

twofavorsI also used the fabric garland and a vintage box to display the favors. The kids took home tiny 4 oz mason jars that were filled with homemade gak. What is gak (aka flubber)? Its the concoction of Elmer’s glue and Borax that creates a squishy & slimy substance that kids love to play with(read about the favors here). Some of the fabric from the garland was used for toppers on the mason jars. I used more of the DIY chalkboard tags to label gifts for two babies that went home with age appropriate toys. The 9 month old would attempt to eat the gak and I’m sure the 4 month old wouldn’t even think to grab it!

Now for all the backyard fun! Toddlers can be fickle so I made sure there was plenty of fun activities that would keep the kids busy. We had two tiny picnic tables that had red gingham tablecloths for the kids to eat on. The tables were placed in the grass for easier clean up and for a close place to sit while snacking in between all the fun activities.

So many ideas for a backyard party for toddlers. Outdoor chalkboard...blown up pool with pool noodles and sprinklers!The Little Tykes Beach Ball sprinkler (found at Walmart) had spray heads on all sides of the ball for endless fun! A blown up child pool sat underneath a beach tent to give some shade. I filled the pool with water, two noodles that I cut in half (to create more toys!) a beach ball and some other pool balls that were a buck at Target. On my mom’s porch I had my DIY outdoor chalkboard for a little creativity play.

waterblob1But it seems that the water blob was a huge hit with the kids. I found this idea via Pinterest (like all things) and can’t believe how easy is was to make and how much fun the kids had with it! I picked up the plastic sheeting from Lowe’s (around $8) and some duct tape from Target. Make sure you get the plastic sheeting that is 4 mil thick. I bought the 2 mil and there was one tear in the plastic during the party, but I just use some duct tape to cove the hole and it worked! Take the plastic sheeting and fold it over. Take the duct tape and seal the three sides leaving a small opening to fill with water. I did insert some fun foam shapes I had from Target. You can read a tutorial from Clumsy Crafter where I got the idea from! On the day of Lily’s party Mike filled the plastic with water from a hose and then taped the hole up. The kids had a blast running and jumping on the blob. Lily enjoyed laying down on it as if it was a water bed. I have plenty of the plastic leftover so I plan on making this again during the summer.

twowaterblob We had a bucket full of towels outside and another bucket that hung from a shepards hook filled with SPF and bugs spray (thank goodness we had no rain or mosquitoes!). I thought having these outside would make it easier on us mommas so we didn’t have to keep lugging the diaper bags all around the party! I also made sure I had some extra swimming diapers on hand in case anyone ran out.

Having a party outside? Think about providing guests with SPF & bug spray just in case they forgot theirs. You can place them in a metal buckets and hang it from a shepards hook!Having a pool or sprinkler party for toddlers? Provide a bucket with some extra towels just in case guests forgot theirs!Our family had such a wonderful time celebrating our sweet Lily with dear friends. The kids seemed to have a blast…

twoendpool…and Lily ended the party the way she came into the world….naked (minus the pigtails & bows!). Stay tuned this week for some of the DIY projects from this party!


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  1. Emily Ley commented:
    June 26, 2013 Reply

    HAHAHAH!! I love these photos! Especially the last one!! Love you friend! xo

  2. kelsey commented:
    June 26, 2013 Reply

    bwahahaha That last photo of Lily is awesome! The look on her face… oh man! Pretty sure I almost just woke up G with my loud burst of laughter. Too funny!!

    This was such a fun party for the kiddos… I mean the photos say it all, it was a great party for the kids!

    I can’t wait to prep for Gs party (parties?) in August! So fun!!

  3. mckay commented:
    July 1, 2013 Reply

    love all the pictures and details! still so sad I wasn’t there.

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Turning Two With A Backyard BBQ: part 1

Really cute backyard bbq for a toddler's second birthdayWell she officially became two years old even though our sweet Lily has appeared to be in ‘the terrible twos’ months ago! On Saturday (her actual birthday) we had a backyard BQ complete with fun water play to beat the brutal summer heat.

My dear friend Emily Ley created her invitations and I LOVED how they turned out! With a BBQ theme I stuck to red gingham as the main color/print followed by blue, white and a splash of gold here and there. Emily created a gold ‘hooray’ ticket to help weave in that color. Craft paper envelopes completed the BBQ theme feel and I used my embosser for the return address (I got mine from Paper Source). To take it up one more notch I found these awesome stamps from Zazzle that had “I want you to BBQ” with the iconic Uncle Sam (the yellow scribble is to omit my address & my parent’s). With Fourth of July right around the corner I figured I would be able to score cheaper party materials with a BBQ theme and in red, white and blue colors.

BBQ themes invites created from my friend Emily Ley. BBQ themed stamps found on Zazzle, embossed return address (got mine at Papersource) & craft paper envelopes tied it all together.The great thing about toddler parties is that you can be specific about the time of the event. We used the same time frame as last year with the celebration starting at 11 am and ending around “naptime” which falls around 1 o’clock. With the brutal Florida heat, full bellies and exhaustion over hard core sprinkler fun all the kids were ready to call it quits at the same time!

The party was held at my parent’s lovely home about four minutes away. We have a pool that takes up most of our backyard, and to get the non-swimming toddlers wet in our backyard would mean all the moms or dads would have to get in. I wanted to just sit back and watch lily and her buddies have fun (with a beer in my hand…so we opted for my parent’s house with a very large grass backyard.

twofoodsetupThe party fare was of course BBQ with pulled pork sandwiches, summer vegetable pasta salad, sliced watermelon, corn on the cob and more fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries and grapes). For the littles, we had popcorn chicken from Publix (local grocery store), same sliced watermelon & fresh fruit, applesauce pouches and corn niblets (easier than on the cob). The vegetables in the pasta salad were chopped and the pasta was whole grain so they had that as an option too!

BBQ themed party with pulled pork sandwiches (w/ 3 sauce choices), sliced watermelon, other fresh fruit, corn on the cob & whole grain vegetable pasta salad. toddler food for a BBQ themed party. Popcorn chicken (purchased from local grocery store), corn nibblets, sliced watermelon, fresh fruit, applesauce pouches and small cups of whole grain pasta salad with veggies! We prepared the pulled pork sandwiches ahead of time to keep it easier and guests had their options of three different sauces. I found the plain plastic condiment bottles from Amazon and applied craft stickers (Martha Stewart’s line a Staples) with the names of the sauce printed on them.

twosauceDue to the time of year Target had some new BBQ themed kitchen items and I snatched up this adorable galvanized pig napkin holder!

Sweet BBQ themed toddler birthday Last year I used paper as the tablecloth and wrote directly on the table to label the dishes. This year I didn’t label everything and used cute mini chalkboard clips I scored from Groopdealz. I continued using chalkboard as a way to label other party décor with some tags I made (this simple DIY project found here). When I think of BBQ red gingham and galvanized metal comes to mind. I picked up a few galvanized bins from Home Goods (that place is so dangerous) and the two tiered stand from Target. The red gingham material is actually cloth napkins I purchased from Amazon and these will be re-used as actual napkins throughout the summer and for other future parties (none planned but that’s my rational thinking).

Drink station idea. A tub for the kids mini water bottles and juice pouches. Use a basket to organize straws, cups and napkins for the drinks. Make sure you have signs to let your guests know what options they have and using the chalkboard tags are cute & can be re-used for future events. All the drinks were kept together on my mom’s kitchen island right in front of her double doors leading out to the backyard. Refreshments stayed cool inside, but were close enough for refills to stay hydrated with the heat and humidity. Fruit infused water (used sliced Fuji apples) and sangria (with sliced Fuji apples and oranges) were served in decanters with my DIY chalkboard tags. I propped up a small chalkboard (that was purchased from World Market over a year ago) to let everyone know that beer was outback in my parent’s metal cooler. The cooler had a built in bottle opener on the side so that was super convenient. In a galvanized bucket I had mini water bottles and Honest fruit pouches (apple juice & grape juice) for the kids. I used a woven basket tray to organize drink napkins, cups (kept it classy & simple with plastic) and fancy red stripe straws in a cute metal straw container (found at Home Goods).

festive decorI kept the dessert SUPER simple and made two chocolate bundt cakes (recipe here). This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake and I make it often. For Easter I brought it over to Emily Ley’s house for a get together with friends and it was a hit with everyone….so if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it right? Last year I made a smash cake, cupcakes, rice crispies and Starbuck’s cake pops….which was just too much. The bundt cakes were made the night before and lightly dusted with powdered sugar the day of….beyond simple. I displayed the sweet treat on my mom’s buffet. I covered the wall with paper fans some that I created (post coming soon) and some purchased from Amazon. My mom owns a few vintage wood boxes that I used to prop up the cake, hold the utensils and the party favors.

twomasonjarsBesides that red gingham napkins and paper fans I spread out mason jar vases around the house. Each vase had burlap and red gingham ribbon hot glued on. A few of them had a gold “L” I bought at Joann’s and spray-painted and the rest had more of those DIY chalkboard tags with the number “2”. I am obsessed with the little gold L vases that I can’t bear to embellishments off!

twogarlandLily’s first birthday was based on a DIY fabric bunting my mom and I slaved over and I swore I would never make another fabric anything for another party. Insert foot in mouth! I just couldn’t help myself and I made some fabric garlands that hung from my mom’s TV mantel, the favor box and around the huge chalkboard that displayed pictures from the past year. A DIY post on the fabric garland is coming soon!

Stay tuned for part two of Lily’s second birthday tomorrow because this post is getting too long and this weekend has left me exhausted!

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  1. Nancy H commented:
    June 25, 2013 Reply

    Amazing!!! Every detail is perfection yet you make it look like
    It’s so easy! Can’t wait to see more 🙂

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | DIY Chalkboard Tags or Signs on July 3, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    […] project was so simple it’s silly. For Lily’s second birthday I wanted small chalkboard signs for the food and drink stations. I loved the way these DIY […]

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