Thursday, July 30, 2015

One Dress, Three Ways with June & January

By now, you probably know that we are big fans of June & January (formerly Little Hip Squeaks). From way back when, when my little Halloween Harper wore their first black & white stripe knot headband, it was love at first sight.

Aside from hoarding those knot headbands in every size & color, we have also become very fond of their tank dresses. You will not find a better fitting dress for little girls anywhere, even my husband comments almost every time Harper or Eloise wear one, "that dress is so cute, I love the way it fits!" And it's so true. They wash well, they're soft, stretchy, lightweight and seriously, if it comes in black & white stripes, you know I have heart eyes. So when the ladies of June & January asked me to style some of their dresses for a post, I said yes right away! I obviously love them for Summer because they are so, so versatile. Worn alone or paired with cute accessories, they're the easiest thing to grab out of the closet for my girls to wear. And as the end of Summer is near, I am already thinking ahead to how I will keep them in rotation for Fall by adding cardigans & tights. And obviously sparkly cat ears! ;)

Do you have a favorite? And better yet, who wants to petition with me to get these dresses made in adult sizes?! ;) Thanks so much J&J for sending us some dresses, and for making some of the absolute cutest kid clothes on the planet!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our Weekend + Brandon's Surprise 30th

I knew I wanted to do something really big for Brandon's 30th this year, the last few weeks (or months really) have been so crazy for us, between his work schedule, preparing for the baby & of course now with Claire's arrival. So! I rounded up a few of his best friends from college, high school & work, along with his dad, brother & brother-in-law, and we surprised him with a guys weekend at a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He had no idea since we technically celebrated his birthday at the Cubs game the weekend prior. He came home from work Friday afternoon & I lured him to the back patio where everyone was waiting with a beer in hand, for the big SURPRISE!!!! It was perfect. Especially the over-the-top bottle popping! ;)

I ordered these camping koozies to give everyone as a little souvenir from the trip, they were so fun!  My best friend Whitney came along with her husband, so we had a little fun girl time while the guys were gone. We shopped with all the babies, rented movies, ate tons of good food (seriously,  golden thin oreos are life changing) & even got to sneak out for a quick pedicure & wine during nap time. Thanks, mom! The weekend was amazing, Happy birthday to the love of my life, and thank you so much to everyone who traveled all the way to Georgia & spent the weekend with us, we love you all!! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mini Style: Newborn Hats

I have such vivid memories of the hats my girls wore in the hospital, and along with the hats that the hospital first puts on them, I will treasure them all forever. We have them all saved with their hospital bracelets & footprints, they are the tiniest little keepsakes. I get asked a lot where I have found their hats, and although a few of them are no longer available, there are still so many cute options. Here are a few of my favorites, I have a lot of these & just love the way they fit a teeny tiny newborn head!

Purple Stripe // Stripe Pilot Cap // Black & White Dot // Watercolor Ikat // Teal Stripe // Purple Heart  // Blue XO // Charcoal Linen Bonnet // Orange Stripe

Knot hats look so adorable on babies, but there is something so classic about a little bonnet.

And just for the fun of it! A little side by side of all three girls the day they were born, all wearing the same hat. Can you tell them apart? ;)

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Wild Wild Weekend

I realize I am not the first person to ever have three kids, and I am really not one to complain, but damn. Three kids is tough. We have spent the weekend playing referee, tagging one another in & out as we attempted to play with the kids, do housework, cook meals & still have fun. It was a whole lot of "you got the kids? I am switching the laundry." "you got the kids? I am putting the food on the grill." "Ellie needs her diaper changed! Claire is hungry! Harper needs help building a boat to go to Peter Pan's house! Have you seen a pacifier? Have you seen my sanity?! Are we eating lunch today!?!!"

We totally got this, right? ;)

Friday night Brandon & I went to the Braves vs. Cubs game in the city as part of his 30th BIRTHDAY festivities! We had such a fun time going out without the kiddos, and indulging in big beers & hot dogs. I have something extra special up my sleeve for his birthday this year though, a baseball game simply will not do it when celebrating the big dirty thirty around here. More to come on that! ;) We also took Harper to her dance class open house, she starts ballet & tap this fall so she got to pick up her outfit and shoes. She was too excited for words, and so are we, we can't wait to watch her do her thing! We also made these blackberry margaritas & got reacquainted with our back patio after the kids were all asleep. A wild weekend indeed!

Hope you all had an amazing weekend! And as always, thank you again for all of the kind words & encouragement about being back at it today on my own, I can't tell you all how much I appreciate you! XO

Friday, July 17, 2015

In the Playroom // Lifestyle Shoot Part 2

Happy Friday! All the days have been running together around here, eat, sleep, play, soothe a crying child, repeat. You know the drill. Today I am sharing the second half of photos from our lifestyle shoot that we did a few weeks ago, just before Claire was born. (You can find the rest of the photos in this post.) Our goal with these photos was really to capture this little moment in time, what it's like for us on the day to day, me & my girls (and bump!). And we spend tons of time in our playroom upstairs, the girls' favorite room in the house. We finally moved their playtable upstairs, layered a few cozy rugs, added some super fun artwork from Minted & moved the couch across the room to give the room a better space plan. The bright blue rug from RugsUSA is one of my favorite parts of the room, the bright color was just what the space needed! The playroom was once my office as well, but now I just use one tiny corner for getting some work & blogging done while the girls play. And yes, we cleaned this room before taking photos, I promise it does not always look like this! ;)

Photos by Ashley Scobey

I also want to thank our friends at CupcakeMAG for featuring me as one of the moms in their Summer Issue! If you haven't already seen it, check it out here to the interview & a few more of these photos!
Hope you all have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Claire's Birth Story + My C-Section Recovery

I realized today that I never published Eloise's birth story, I wrote it, but somehow I never finished the post. I went back and read it today & cried all over again. It really seems like it was just yesterday, and now not only is Eloise running around & talking, but baby Claire is already two weeks old. I really can't keep up with this whole time thing! ;)
Let's start with Claire. We had my c-section scheduled for July 1st, the first day that my doctor would be available to the surgery, even though I could have gone a few days earlier. I love love love my doctor, she delivered Eloise as well & was my doctor with Harper, even though she wasn't the one to do my c-section that time. 

I was extremely nervous for this c-section, being that it was my third one, and I have had some issues with thinning scar tissue in my uterus from my first two. We went into the hospital at five in the morning, and I was immediately thrown off by us having a different type of surgery prep room than I had with the other two girls. For some reason, when we had Eloise, everything felt so familiar that it put me at ease, but this time around I felt like I was doing it for the first time since we had different surroundings. They started with my IV, which the nurse had all sorts of issues finding a vein, so they ended up putting it in a very awkward spot right where my thumb meets my wrist, making me unable to really move my thumb or bend my wrist. Not that this matters, it was just annoying & I don't recommend ever getting an IV in that spot. The nurse came in to give me the sour drink (like a small mouthful) that helps to neutralize stomach acid, I remembered having it with the other girls but for some reason it did not settle well this time. I immediately felt super nauseous. And more nervous. We facetimed with Harper & Eloise while they ate breakfast, my parents stayed with them at our house while we were in the hospital. Seeing their faces & excitement definitely helped ease my nerves a bit.

After 30 more minutes of waiting while they gave me two bags of fluids, the anesthesiologist came to place my epidural. He had me lying down for my epidural, which I wasn't used to since the first two times I was sitting up, I was shaking already from the cold IV bags & my nerves. The epidural was placed, and really was not painful, more uncomfortable if anything. I have very low blood pressure, and the epidural tends to cause it to drop even lower, so they had to administer the medicine slowly switching between the numbing medication & medication to keep my blood pressure up. Every time it dropped, I felt more and more nauseous. At this point I was shaking uncontrollably from the medicine, so they had a hard time taking my blood pressure, and the numbing wasn't kicking in as quickly as it should have, so everything was moving at a snails pace. After maybe 45 minutes them poking me to see if I could feel anything sharp, they finally decided that the epidural was working correctly & it was go time! 

Once we got into the operating room, I felt better. I was so happy to see my doctors face & talk to all of the sweet nurses. I was crying (again, out of nerves & excitement) but really felt pretty calm at that point. During surgery, my doctor & anesthesiologist gave me a play by play of everything that was happening, and Brandon was by my side the entire time trying to distract himself from what they were saying by talking to me about whether baby Claire would look like Harper or Eloise. After just a few minutes on the table, at 8:20 am, Claire Vivien was born weighing 7lbs, 10oz. She had the cord wrapped around her neck & came out fighting to breathe, which caused her to have some broken blood vessels in her face. They whisked her away to the other side of the room, and told Brandon he could not come see her yet. I was in tears, wanting to know if she was okay, and finally we heard a loud scream & cry from across the room. Brandon got to go see her & after a few minutes of the nurses checking her out, he brought her over & I met my baby girl for the first time.

She had a full head of dark hair, a little squish face & looked so much like Harper when she was born. Once we were in the recovery room, Claire got her first bath & had a few tests done. The doctor recommended running some blood tests as they were a little bit concerned about the blood vessels. Claire's doctor was worried she may have an infection, so they took her away for what seemed like hours to do blood work & monitor her. We were wheeled up to our room without our baby girl, it was heartbreaking & I was desperate to hold her. We worried & prayed, and finally they brought her to us & let us know that the initial results were negative but they would continue to monitor her blood cultures for an additional 48 hours. We were so happy to have her in our arms.

Later that evening, I got out of bed for the first time & was able to stand up on my own. I remember it being so painful after my c-section with Eloise, I was dreading it but it ended up not being too bad at all. I felt much better this time, and they took my epidural out first thing the next morning. Then I was able to shower & walk around during the rest of our hospital stay. We stayed in the hospital for three nights, which felt like a luxury vacation to be able to just nap all day with our new baby. By the time we were going home that Saturday, I really felt pretty good! I was pleasantly surprised with my overall recovery, this has been my easiest yet. I am putting this out there for those of you who are afraid or nervous for your first, second, third, etc. c-section. I know that they can all be different, but not all recoveries are like most of the horror stories out here. I was so thankful to people who gave me reassurance when I was nervous for my first one with Harper. Now that we are two weeks out, I almost feel like my old self again, I am so thankful for that.
We also thank God every day for our third healthy baby girl. Claire Vivien, we love you so much!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Life with three.

Time has been flying since we got home from the hospital, Claire has been a champ at nursing & has actually had a few really good nights of sleep in a row. It's almost too good to be true, so knock knock knock on all the wood. The girls love Claire & want to hold her all the time, although they are both still having a bit of a hard time adjusting to all of the changes around here. Harper was a little over two years old when Eloise was born, so she was able to understand things quite a bit better & was a huge help for me already at that age. This time around, with Eloise being only fifteen months, things are a lot different. Eloise is definitely our wild child (and I mean that in the most loving way!) she is constantly climbing on things & seeing what she can get away with when we aren't looking, which means I spend most of my day chasing after her. She is also still a little too rough with Claire, in terms of head pats that quickly turn into smacks or scratches. Harper is an amazing big sister to both girls, she loves to entertain Eloise & play with her, and always wants to hold Claire or help get diapers/wipes/clothes for her. But she also is struggling with not having as much undivided attention, so things can turn from sweet to sour pretty darn quick.

I'm really not sure how we are going to manage, but I know we'll get there. Eventually.

So far, our strategy has just been to divide & conquer! Brandon has been taking Harper & Eloise to the park on his days off to play soccer & climb around on the playgrounds while I stay home with Claire & catch up on sleep. He also handles the girls' baths at night while I nurse Claire & get her ready for bed. I am so thankful for an easy recovery (so far) from my c-section, and for both Brandon & my mom for being so helpful along the way. I'm totally screwed once they're both back to work full time next week.

 And since I hoped to post this last week with a few Friday Favorites, here are a few of my current favorites, most of which have been discovered during middle of the night feedings!

I knew that after my c-section I would want to wear a lot of dresses because they have no waistline, I ordered this striped swing dress on a whim because it was on sale & ended up loving it so much! The fabric is super soft & it fits so well, I also love how long the length is so it is a really practical every day dress for hanging around with the kids. I also love these Gap t-shirt dresses, the colors are so pretty & vibrant in person!

A friend sent me this comedy stand-up about parenting & I have not stopped laughing about it. A much needed laugh for a Monday!

My insatiable appetite while breastfeeding has me constantly scrolling Pinterest for recipes in the wee hours of the morning, these Nutella stuffed pancakes are genius.

I have an unhealthy obsession with swaddle blankets, these Little Unicorn swaddles are my current favorite (poppy print pictured above), the patterns are so fun! There are lots of cute options for boys too, the navy stripe is my favorite! 

Thank you all for being patient with the lack of blog posts, hopefully as we start getting into some sort of routine, I will be able to post more often once again! ;) In the meantime, follow us on Instagram @jlgarvin for more photos & updates! XO