Sunday, March 24, 2013

Little P: Week One

I'm back from my blogger maternity leave.  A big thank you again to the wonderful four bloggers who shared stories with all of you. 

shared the big gender reveal after months of being Team Green. In case you haven't heard we had a beautiful little girl. Today I'll be sharing her one week update. 

Our new nickname for Baby E now that she is here is Little P! Her nickname will match her big brothers. 

Dear Little P,
It is hard to believe you have only been in our lives seven short days. You are absolutely incredible in every way. You hardly ever cry. You only cry during diaper changes and if someone else is holding you and you want your mama. I love the way you immediately stop crying when I hold you in my arms. I love the way you fit into a perfect nook on my chest.  You've been a great nurser these past seven days. Your big brother definitely laid down some ground work and made your mama a little smarter this go around. You have dark blue eyes and light brown hair with a hint of red in it. I look forward to learning more about you and seeing what kind of person you become. I look forward to seeing if your eyes turn brown like your big brothers adorable, big brown eyes and your daddy's. Or if your eyes will turn green like me, your mama. I wonder if your hair will keep it's red or if it will go away. So many amazing weeks to come. You are loved my so many. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Guest Blogger: Amber from Momma in Bloom

I'm wrapping up my week of guest bloggers with Amber! She dishes on the changes of having two kids. Something I've been learning a lot about this week. 

Hey, guys! I'm Amber, or the Momma In Bloom. I'm a former Registered Nurse, turned wife (of a slight workaholic) and SAHM of two. Most days you'll find me with a "venti" iced coffee in hand and two non-detachable toddlers, accompanied by many hormonal tears (on my part). I'm growing in my role as a momma, while trying to stay true to myself... and I share it all over on my blog. So, feel free to stop by sometime! :) I was thrilled when Shellsea invited me over into her space, while on temporary maternity leave from her blog. Today, I'll be sharing my
expertiseexperiences as a momma of two, since Shellsea is, or will very soon, be a newly minted momma of two herself. I've shared thoughts on my own blog before, regarding the perfect age-difference between siblings... which mostly equated to me contemplating whether such even really existed, before finally coming to the conclusion that just about the time you think it's PERFECT, they prove you wrong. ;) I think being a mother of more than one child is not only adjustment, but sometimes a difficult one at that. Other mommas (who have 3 or more kids) have told me that the transition from one child to two children, is the most difficult. I wouldn't personally know, as I only have two myself. Either way, I think the whole experience is what you make of it. Sure there is going to be double the joy, laughter, and smiles... BUT with it also comes feelings of guilt, worry, and being overwhelmed with juggling the needs of two little ones. I felt guilty when NK (my daughter) was first-born and required so much of my attention. I worried about her big brother, LW... will he feel left out? neglected? forgotten? Jealously existed. LW had just turned two shortly after his sister was born. He was at that stage where he had feelings, but wasn't quite sure what to make of them or how to express them to us (Mommy and Daddy). He'd do what most any toddler would do when he felt a lack of attention or jealous towards his little sister... throw a temper tantrum. It was a learning curve for all of us. Remembering to ask if he was hungry or thirsty BEFORE getting tied-up in a nursing session. Keeping books on hand that he could "read" to baby sister and I during nursing sessions, so he felt included. Letting some of the household chores go during the baby's naps and dedicating that time instead to one-on-one playtime with LW. One of the most recent things LW and I have started doing is Mommy-Son Dates. I find a babysitter for little sister, then him and I spend the morning or afternoon doing something fun... just the two of us. However, the most helpful advice I can offer to newly-minted mommas of two (or three, or four... or more) is to accept the help that others offer... whether it's a meal, help doing laundry one afternoon, or babysitting one of the kiddos... it helps give you the opportunity to spend quality-time with both children and negate those feelings of jealously or rivalry in the siblings (AND guilt and worry on your behalf), especially until you are past that brand-stinkin' newborn stage and can develop more of a routine! LW-and-NK((See, because moments like these make it totally worth it!)) What have YOUR experiences been in the adjustment from one to two or more children? Please feel free to share in a lovely comment below! Good Luck, Shellsea and family! Positive vibes for a happy, healthy momma & baby! Can't wait to hear of the big news! :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Guest Blogger: Megan from And here's to you Mrs. Robinson

Thank you for following along this week! After two wonderful guest bloggers, I have another for you!
Read along as one of the best bloggers out there reassures you that you are a wonderful mother despite that "mom guilt"
Hello Heartfelt Happenings readers! 
I am very honored to be here today while Shellsea is out on maternity leave. 
Her Little C is basically the cutest little boy so I know baby #2 is going to be absolutely adorable too. 

I guess I should give a quick introduction. 
My name is Megan Robinson and I blog over at "And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.I am a wife, mother, Marriage & Family degree holder, wannabe crafter, Oreo connoisseur, and sucker for Rainbow Chip frosting. My blog follows my journey through marriagemotherhood, and all the ups and downs that come with life. I also like to pretend I know something about clothescooking, and occasionally crafts

Before I became a mother, I had a whole list of things I was going to do every day 
and things I refused to ever do. 

I thought I knew how it would go down.
I set high expectations for myself and my baby {who I had yet to meet}.
And because I had such high standards, if I didn't live up to them I thought I was a terrible mother. 

There were many times I would read books, articles, and yes, some other mommy blogs and think,
"I don't do that. My baby doesn't do that. What is wrong with us?" 
I would beat myself up so much about it that at times it was hard for me to enjoy what was really there.


And what was really there was a happy, loving, beautiful baby boy who loved me.
A healthy, chubby son with big brown eyes and a head full of baldness.
A crazy mover and shaker who refused to stay still and taught himself to roll, crawl, and walk very early on.
A new, eternal, incredible bond between my son and I that I would cherish forever.
And all of the other wonderful things that come with motherhood. 

It took me a while but I eventually learned my most important lesson of motherhood:
I am the mother. Me. Not my neighbor, not my friend, not other bloggers, not even my doctor.
And only I know my baby best.
I know how he likes to be held at night to go to sleep.
I know how he likes to cuddle, feeling safe and warm in my arms.
I know how he eats, sleeps, and likes to play.
I know how he learns and how he interacts.
I know.
I know. 

Yes, books and friends and blogs all have their place.
There were many times where I was at a complete loss and needed to turn to someone for help and they were there. But it was still very important that I used my own gut and intuition to know what was right for me and my son. 

My son and I are both very happy even though most of the things I said I would do {or never do} didn't actually happen.
He is happy because I learned to recognize his needs, his temperament, and let him be himself.
I am happy because I have lowered the expectations for myself greatly and have tried to take it day by day, enjoying all the sweet moments. 

Motherhood is not easy. Nor is it the same experience for everyone.
We are all different. Our children are different.
But we are all meant to be together with our children for a reason.  

I know my son was meant specifically for me.
I know he was meant to bring special blessings only meant for me.
He brings me such great happiness that I never thought was possible.
And when I remember to trust myself and my own abilities, the stresses of living up to an unknown standard melts away and I am able to be the best mother to my son that I can be.

Thank you so much, Shellsea for letting me share my mothering experiences with your readers!
I'm so excited for you and your family and can't wait to meet the new little Hunnel. :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Guest Blogger: Shelley from Hand in Hand

Hello! Did you just love Casey's post yesterday!?
I'm busy snuggling my newborn making this a great guest post from Shelley.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have!

Hey, everyone! My name's Shelley and I blog over at Hand In Hand. I was so flattered when Shellsea asked me to guest post for her for when she has her new baby! I remember that time well. Aside from all of the wonderful baby snuggles and Cloud 9 hormones that make the sleep deprivation worth it, the newborn stage was all about basic survival mode for me and I felt it would be fun to do a post about what kinds of things we used most often when Emily was a newborn- things that I loved and that made things even just a little bit easier!

Since nursing was a majority of what Emily and I did in the beginning, I separated these into two categories: Nursing Essentials and Non-nursing Baby Essentials.

Non-Nursing Baby Essentials:

We used this bathtub from her first bath at home all the way until she was able to stand up and climb out of it on her own! It's great!

Oh, boy did we use a ton of these! You can never have too many burp cloths!

For the longest time I thought Emily hated being swaddles because she would fight it whenever I tried. Eventually I got to my breaking point in our sleep deprived state and I started swaddling her in this. It held her in and she slept well in it!

4. Dreft
Okay, so it's probably not that "essential" but babies do need a more sensitive laundry detergent and this one  smells amazing!

We got a cheap front carrier for like $13.00 at Target and it was a life saver. She hated being put down so hubs and I would carry her in this to do things around the house or even to walk around in public places like the park or grocery store.

Nursing Essentials:

I wore a nursing cover almost every time I nursed if I wasn't in a private place. It kept me covered up and helped Emily focus on eating. Eventually she grew to hate it and would swat at it, exposing us in the process. But for months it worked well for us!

In the beginning stages of nursing, your boobies don't know what's going on. It takes some time for them to adjust to how much milk to supply so sometimes there may be some leakage. Breast pads are key!

I had a love/hate relationship with nursing bras. They weren't always flattering or fit right but once you find the right kind (I liked some from Motherhood Maternity), it's great!

This pillow did wonders for supporting Emily during nursing sessions. I could also use it to prop her up when we weren't nursing!

I used this cream so much in the first couple of months of nursing. It helped a lot! 

There you have it! My list of essentials for having a newborn baby! 

Thank you for having me! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Guest Blogger: GENDER REVEAL!

Hello, Casey from Stress Case here with a BIG announcement!

Yesterday, on St. Patrick's Day,

March 17, 2013 at 9:40am,

this little Lucky Penny joined Shellsea, Hockey Husband and Little C to turn their sweet family of three into a perfect family of four.

Little Penelope Grace (and I do mean little, weighing in at 7lb 10oz and 20" long - over two pounds lighter than her big brother Little C!) is the sweetest thing, and I am so over the moon happy for Shellsea, her HH and Big Bro C!

I was so honored when Shellsea asked me to stop by the blog and share this wonderful news with all you readers (though she will probably kill me for referring to her girl by a nickname - she has a thing about nicknames!)!  Please join me in congratulating Shellsea and family on their new bundle of joy.  This new addition is sure to bring some sleepless nights, but with it will come extra smiles, laughs and new memories as their little family grows again.
Left: My Handsome Husband and myself with Lil C in 2010, Right: Us with sweet little Penelope on Sunday.

Feel free to come by my little corner of the blogosphere if you'd like - you can read about how grateful I am for Shellsea's first wittle baby, Lil C, HERE.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What's in a name?

Do you ever think about how you got your name?
If you ever chosen a name for a baby or did you do it.
Do you peruse tons and tons of baby books?
Do you just look at your new puppy or baby and know, just know what their name is?

Me? I love picking out names. I have first and middle name combination names for days.

And, today?
I'm going to reveal the names picked for our new baby.

Growing up with a name like Shellsea I came to love it.
It became my identity.
It was slightly different but not completely out there.
I was asked quite a few times if my parents were hippies. Was I a flower child? People would ask.

I was proud of my name growing up. People would try to call me Chelsea. I would correct them. Try to nickname me Shelly. I would correct them.
{Nicknames a whole different topic.}

I hope my children come to love their names. I hope they are proud of their names.
Hockey Husband and I chose our names for future children years ago.
At the time the names were not that popular but, not completely
 obscure either. Now? Those same names are pretty popular!
But, that is okay I am in love with them. 

Curious, yet?
Our names

Ethan Charles 

Penelope Grace

You might be wondering then why has the baby been called "Baby E"?
{no, I haven't been holding out on you}
here's the long story...
In the event that we have a girl, we chose a nickname for Penelope eons ago.
We both fell in love with the name.
I liked it long, Hockey Husband wanted a nickname claiming no child should have a four syllable name. Psshaw. 

With neither of us being in love with "Penny" as much as "Penelope" we started brainstorming alternatives. 
Lope, Nellie, Pen were all suggested by family. 

Then one day, we saw PenELope. And, we loved Little El. I like "ie" endings so Ellie was born.
But, I still love Penelope in full. 
If it's a boy,
Ethan... he'll be our little E boy! 
Ethan and Colin- I love those brother names! 
The excitement to put a name and identity with this little baby I have been dreaming of for months is beyond measure.

Come back Monday for the big name and gender reveal! 
Casey from Stress Case will be here guest posting on Monday. 
Don't miss it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Emerald Dreams

By now you may have heard, the color of the year was announced as Emerald.
 Emerald Green. 

I absolutely love this.
Not only is {almost} every shade of green my favorite it all seems so perfect this year. 

This year we are TEAM GREEN for baby #2
our baby is expected to come on St. Patrick's Day!

What a perfect year for the color to be emerald. 

I was getting into the emerald kick last fall. 
I had a thing for one shoulder dresses as well. 

I wore two different emerald dresses one to my high school reunion and another to celebrate Grandma Owl's birthday last September! 
Hockey Husband and I 
HH and me with Teacher Kindness with her Husband, Conductor
The family ladies for Grandma Owl's birthday

Sharing my love of green dresses with Alison at Long Distance Loving!
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring has Sprung! A SWAP!!

I have some sweet news for you today Heartfelt Happening readers. Not only am I sharing a sweet recipe, {this mama is craving some sweets lately} I have an announcement!
[no, I didn’t have the baby yet!]
NurseSC, aka Casey from Stress Case, and I are hosting another swap this year! Last year was our first time hosting the 
Spring Sweets Swap
Spring Sweets Swap

It was great success and we wanted to do it again!
What is a blog swap?
A swap is a great way to meet fellow bloggers. You can get to know everyone through the link-up and really get to know your partner.
We pushed it back this year so those of you in colder climates could really get into the Spring spirit for this swap.

All you have to do is link up below, Nurse SC and I will pair everyone up then visit your bloggy partner and make a new friend!
Have fun shopping ($10 limit) & mail your goodies out then come back here or Nurse SC's page to link up for the final reveal! 
It really is that easy!
You can see my swap reveal post from last year here.
Important Dates:
Sign Ups March 14th-March 28th

Partners Revealed Thursday April 4th

Mail Package by April 16th

Swap Reveal April 26th

Recipe Thursday:

One of my favorites-classic chocolate chip cookies. They'll go great in someone's package too!

Sign up below for some sweets!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dressing the Bump

I have had a lot of fun wearing some maternity items these past few months. But, it's almost time for me to say goodbye to my maternity clothes. Especially some of my most favorite and comfortable shirts. For the full update in pregnancy read along here

With my first pregnancy I was completely against purchasing shirts I couldn't use later for nursing. It seemed like a waste. And, maybe it was this time around, but I loved wearing fitted shirts that were not meant for nursing. 

Hockey Husband affectionately told me it looked like I was wearing a picnic table cloth with shirt. 
Hmm, maybe he was right. But it was great nursing top!

Between pregnancies I am really proud that I met one of my Health goals from my 101 in 1001. Which meant that the tops I did have from pregnancy number one were really to big this go around.
Another pregnancy shot from baby #1. This shirt was also a nursing top and very large. Which was great to accommodate my 10 pound baby belly, but I swim in now. 

This time around I learned to love fitted maternity tops that will not be suitable for nursing. That is just fine by me. I wore all these tops more than enough! 
Motherhood Maternity were by far my absolute favorite tops. They were incredibly soft and stretchy. Lasting the entire pregnancy thus far. I have the same shirt in a few colors. 

 Another addiction of mine? These colored skinnies. I probably wouldn't be caught dead in these if I wasn't pregnant, but there is something about being pregnant that makes me take risks with what I will wear. These dark teal skinnies are so soft-I adore them!

My other favorite thing to do this time around? Waist belts for sure. Creating a belt line right at the empire waist helped me to define "the bump". Here, I'm wearing an old {non-maternity} Loft dress paired with a sweater and blazer. I like both looks and added leggings because of rain, but also because the dress felt a little short with a big bump!

What do you think? How do you or would style the bump?
Do you think maternity clothing is a waste of money when you wear it for a short amount of time?
pleated poppy

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 38 Weeks

It's here the seven day countdown!! I am 38 weeks today and in seven short days I will be holding a newborn in my arms. I am beyond thrilled to begin on a new adventure. Life with a newborn again, life with two children. 
It's a little crazy to think that with Little C there were still 19 days before I would meet that baby. 19 days before I held him in my arms. Now at 38 weeks seven days is the maximum it could be earlier!!

How far along? 38 Weeks
Total weight gain: 25 pounds
Maternity clothes? Sometimes, still wearing a few non maternity shirts.
Stretch marks? Yes
Sleep: not really
Movement: Consistent hiccups every evening. Lots of shifting and some low pelvic pressure. I am almost to the waddling point. Everyone tells me the baby is still high and hasn't dropped yet. My OBGYN said the baby is head down.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: Team GREEN!
Labor Signs: Feeling possible early contractions. The uterus is preparing itself.
Belly Button in or out? It's out.
Wedding rings on or off? Still on, which is awesome. At this point last time I was wearing my rings around my neck.
Mood: Scared. Nervous. Excited. Overjoyed. You name it!
Looking forward to: Pedicures with the girls.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Snapshot

This is Little C only a few hours old.
Been looking at lots of newborn pictures of him lately.
So excited to hold, look upon, and love another newborn. 
Only eight days.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wedding Anniversary

Four years ago today this happened...

I exchanged vows with the man I love.  
We were married on our five year dating anniversary. Today we celebrate nine years together and four beautiful married years. I am so happy and proud of the life we have built together. 
Hockey Husband is my life and together we have the joy and responsibility of raising two more lives. 
To my husband and best friend, I love you more now than four years ago and nine. Something I didn't think was possible. Something tells me I will continue to love you more every day. Thank you for everything you do for me, for us.

Easter Outfit Ideas

Easter 2013

Easter 2013 by shellsea84 featuring a scalloped dress

Playing pretend dress up with Alison from Long Distance Loving for some Friday's Fancies. When I saw the idea of making a lace ensemble. I had so many ideas! Lace blouses, or pretty black lace cocktail dress and then with Easter approaching I knew what I wanted to put together. 

I love this blue lace dress! If it didn't cost a fortune and could be here in two weeks I would so be wearing it this Easter. Keeping it simple with some nude heels, but who am I kidding I'll probably be in flats. Pearls always. And, a beautiful new diaper bag to complete the look. 

For more lace loving you can check out this post when I wore a lace blouse on date night. Or go here for another edition of Friday's Fancies where a touch of lace adds the right amount of romanticism. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

10 days, 10 things

Here it is the countdown. 10 days until our scheduled C-section and we meet our new baby. With Little C we had a countdown until the due date then another count. One day late, two days late, et cetera. I'm not sure which makes me more nervous knowing exactly when the baby will come or not knowing. I have a very strong feeling this little one will not be arriving early. With 10 days to go I have made up a list of 10 things to do before baby arrives. 

1. Pack hospital bag
2. Write up Little C's schedule/instructions for grandparents during my hospital stay
3. Prepare guest room
4. Pay all March bills, write checks for April
5. Prepare budget for April
6. Clean out car
7. Install baby car seat
8. Purchase some baby supplies- baby wash, diapers, etc.
9. Purchase breast pump
10. Get a pedicure

**Also, if you haven't heard I'm looking for guest bloggers for when the baby comes! Just leave a comment if you would like to do this. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Love Quotes

Originally written early this week in honor of my Anniversary week with Hockey Husband. 

All of these quotes are great. I want to get at least one up on a wall or in our room somewhere.
Sharing my favorites at The Vintage Apple

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 37 Weeks

37 Weeks!!
That number is very misleading. At first glance I think three more weeks. Maybe a month if this little one comes late like his or her big brother. Then, I remember we have a c-section scheduled and that 3-4 week window closes into two weeks. 14 days. Oh my!
14 days, wow. Just 14 days until we meet our newest little addition. I am beyond excited. Family is coming to visit soon. Little C will be a big brother soon. I get to hold our baby in my arms soon. And, then I think 14 days cannot come fast enough.
{My little helper! You can see his pants behind us, he just ran out of the bathroom* to get in on the picture taking.}
{*Potty Training post coming soon}

How far along? 37 Weeks
Total weight gain: 25 pounds
Maternity clothes? Yes, unless I am in sweats. 
Stretch marks? Yes
Sleep: some nights yes others are little more difficult due to a cold I have been batteling and major sinus pressure/congestion
Movement: lots of movement. This little baby is moving all around in different directions. The doctor said the head is already down.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope.
Gender: Only two weeks to be surprised! You can make a guess here. Only two weeks to get your guess in!
Labor Signs: None yet.
Belly Button in or out? It's out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Mood: Completely Excited. 
Looking forward to: family coming on March 9th!

Share your weekly pregnancy update or anything baby here with me!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Our Engagement

This is our engagement story.
Every couple has one and in each way they are special to that couple. I adore our story. It's so us.
It's funny, personal, and romantic. This story is the next step in our love story
Our story chronicles our first blind date to our wedding day. 
Nine years ago I met a boy who became a man who changed my life. I love you babe. 
July 2008

It had been almost one year exactly after I moved to Orange County to start my life there. I was all set to enroll in a Teaching Preparation program where I would receive my Multiple Subjects Credential.
I finished in May 2008. Tall Economics Boyfriend and I were still dating at this point. But, that was okay. I didn't move back with an ultimatum in mind. I moved back because I loved this person and wanted to be close to him. I honestly never saw an engagement coming. He had other things in mind. 
Two months later we were going to visit my family for the Fourth of July.
My favorite holiday. 
I love the water, parades, bbq's and fireworks!

And, TEB well he knew this was my all time favorite holiday. He also knew I would plan some sort of hike for us to take. Making the engagement that much more of a surprise to me. 
Here we are just hanging out on the beach before we set off for a hike.
I love my handsome man! 

Later, we were all packed and ready for our hike up a steep hill for some beautiful lake views. 
A hike we would turn into an annual tradition. 

The hike was going good, we were laughing and I was chomping on trail mix. 
{Chomping was TEBs words not mine}

We were enjoying the beautiful view when TEB asked me to put down the trail mix and enjoy the view. 
My reply: I can do both. haha so silly looking back now. 
TEB: Please.
Me: Okay, okay. {Drank some water to wash down the rest of peanuts and chocolate chips.}

After I put everything away in the backpack I turned around to find my future husband down on one knee. The sweetest feeling someone can ever experience. 

Then, you know, he said all the mushy stuff. 
I teared up. 

Immense happiness. 

Celebrating with family after sharing the good news.

Little did I know two years later exactly we would be having our first child. In a just a few days another. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Monthly Recap- February

*Very late February update, but doing these monthly will make my end of the year so much easier*

This is seriously it, we are in the month of March! I think it went by pretty fast and the countdown is on. We've been in the single digits for pregnancy update weeks for awhile now and quickly approaching single day countdown.

I am looking for some awesome guest bloggers who would be interested in taking up residence one day here after the baby comes. Just leave a comment if you're interested- and thank you!

We started our month off at our tax preparers office! Clearly, the earliest we have ever done that. I wanted to get it out of the way in case Baby E comes early. Woo for having that out of the way!

Then the superbowl happened. I didn't watch. Big surprise.
I did however enjoy some good food and company at Grandma Owl's house who hosted a mini party. 

Scrabble Mama celebrated a birthday turning another year wiser!

Little C and I settled into our new routine that included story time at our local library.

Hockey Husband and I had a wonderful Valentine's dinner in. And a yummy dessert too.

Little C and I also had some Valentine fun by making treats for our friends.

Lots of Disneyland visits and a visit to the Irvine Railroad for their Founder's Weekend Celebration.
Overall, it was month spent with family and friends and we celebrated every minute!

It's a little crazy to think our March update will include the birth of new baby.

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