HAPPY FRIDAY + 30 WEEKS!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetBebe Mael at 26 weeks!

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Bebe Mael at 27 weeks!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetBebe Mael at 28 weeks!

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Bebe Mael at 29 weeks!

We have hit 30 weeks! (I need to get mu shit together and try to take some pictures this weekend!). The scale has also hit some very foreign numbers, but I prefer not to focus on that! Sure, I have put an enormous amount of weight on (more than the recommended, by the way), but I have never been happier!

I love this gigantic belly!

I truly do! It makes me so happy! I would carry this baby around happily for 3 years or more! :) Seriously, it’s the most wonderful think in the world to feel my baby kick my guts all day long.

I feel tired. No, I feel exhausted all the time. And I’m so grateful for the chance to fully enjoy my pregnancy at home, without having to leave the house and go to a job I hate. I spend my days cuddling with my belly, talking to my baby, watching it move. People might think it’s an extreme waist of time. I don’t care. I’m loving every second I spend with my belly. I’m fortunate enough to do it, and I’m truly enjoying it without any gilt. If anything, I was never more thankful for Bret to put so much hard work to support our family so I can love on this baby full time.

That’s right, bebe: you are so immensely loved and everyone cannot wait to meet you.

I  the mean time, please, cook for another 10 weeks or so!?! We need that time to move, put your things together, come to terms with the fact that you ARE REAL and you ARE ARRIVING SOON! I dreamed of nesting and spending an absurd amount of time at the baby’s room and this is soon going to become a reality for me!

Happy Friday, friends! We are going to spend a desert hot weekend in the sun!I hope you do to!

 

Love,

 

Vanessa

We are moving!

11081103_10205697724260643_2068345988504463241_nWe are moving! It’s official now!

Since we discovered we were going to have a baby, we knew we had to find ourselves a new home. We spent five years in this apartment and had officially outgrown it. With a new baby, and all the baby things that come with it, we started looking for a new place to live.

I had a bunch of requirements. Some might sound weird or silly, but they were extremely important to me.

1. Stay where we are. I love Lowry, it’s filled with parks everywhere. I can take the baby on lovely walks. I also love our access to all the pools/jacuzzy, movie theater, etc. I want to be able to leave the house with the baby and go anywhere and everywhere walking, and here I can do that. So, moving to another neighborhood was something I would avoid at any cost.

2. The East side of town is full of sunshine and warmth. Every time we are out and about we comment how the west, or any other side of town really, is windier, colder, chillier than where we live! If I make the decisions in this family, we will be East Siders for life!

3. Face West or South. I mean, I need sunshine to live. It’s the main, most important reason we are in Denver. So, moving to a place that faces North or East would not be acceptable. We currently face west with a view of the mountains. Our new place will be facing south, and be taking in the sunshine ALL DAY LONG! Lovely!

4. A dishwasher is a first priority. Without it I don’t think there is one relationship able to survive.  I very serious. I credit my happy relationship to the fact we do have a dishwasher. Nothing would make me resent Bret more than washing dishes.

Besides that I couldn’t care less about any of the details. Of course, Bret had his own list of priorities. He loves a good balcony/patio, he needs access to be outside, he wanted a large enough closet to call his own, and other silly things.

We spent quiet some time thinking about it, researching and looking at places that, quite frankly, were very disappointing. Then, last week we found our new place. What a relief! It was so unexpected. I had lost hope of finding a place I would love!

We are moving directly across our home now, we can look into the living room of the place where we will be living. It’s been vacant for quite some time and we decided to take a look. We all fell in love!

It has a big enough place for the baby, and one of the most exciting bonus a home can offer: a fireplace!

Coming from Brazil (where it’s hot year round!), I never lived anywhere with a fireplace! It will be my first home with a fireplace and for the first time in my life I’m excited about winter. I’ll be cuddling near the fire with my baby, warm and happy!

This is why I’be been an absent asshole, not posting anything for about a month or so. I was so anxious about where we would be living and about my due date approaching soon, that I fell into a funk and this was all I could think about. At the same time, I was packing this house like a maniac (a slow, 8 months pregnant maniac), and couldn’t find the desire to write!

Now I feel so, so happy about our beautiful new place, the baby’s very first home and moving! It’s like a weight was lifted from my shoulders!

We move in one week. So, I’ll be helping pack and dream about the new space!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

 

A cool nursing chair!

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I talked, here, about how I wasn’t sold on a nursing chair, rocker or glider to breastfeed the baby. It’s a large expense on a long list of many, many baby items I need to have before the baby arrives, and it seems like an item that will be left alone after I’m done nursing. But, when the post was published last week, people reached out to me with their arguments in favor of a great, comfortable chair to nurse.

My friends and family talked about the immense amount of time I’ll spend nursing this baby. I’m completely willing to listen to them and I’m considering my options. That’s when I found this chair, from a Kate Spade Saturday collaboration with West Elm. It’s a gorgeous print in a large, comfortable chair. It seems like it would make a gorgeous, confirmable spot to breastfeed Bebe Mael.

What do you think?

The Best of the Oscars

Oscar’s night is a big night at the Mael-Shugrue household. I watch everything, from the Red Carpets to the entire show and I always make sure to cook some deliciousness so Bret can enjoy a little something as well!

This time I made a Brazilian recipe of Passionfruit Cake, very light and fluffy. And since we are snowed in I made a heavy meat sauce pasta for dinner. Besides the yummy food, I’m always looking forward to the gorgeous gowns and here are my favorites this year:

The winner, for me was Emma Stone in Ellie Saab:

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Pure perfection… f2f6873e_464155458.xxxlarge_2x

Naomi WattsJennifer-Lopez

 

Jennifer Lopez, also in Ellie Saab.5995f8fc_marion-cvr.xxxlarge

 

Marion Cotillard. 10834917_10152546918555736_6585529814663511579_o

 

Crissy Teagan. Lupita-Nyongo-Oscars-2015-Pictures-2 Lupita-Nyongo-Oscars-2015-Pictures

 

Gorgeous Lupita. 
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Rosamund Pike. Dakota-Johnson

Dakota Johnson. Julianne-Moore

Juliane Moore. Margot-Robbie-2 Margot-Robbie

Margot Robbie, flawless beauty.

And one hot, hot man:

10996779_10152546975755736_1631234671639960805_oJared Letto.

BABY REGISTRY: FEEDING

We are continuing today our series of products we selected for the arrival of Bebe Mael with an emphasis on nursing (which I hope to be able to do) and feeding.

Rocker: Fine Mod Rocker Arm Chair

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 12.01.44 PMI really don’t see myself using a rocker. But, I may be wrong. I don’t have a baby yet, and I don’t know how long I’ll spend feeing said baby, so I might change my mind. The way I see it, I’ll seat in bed, or on my sofa and feed the baby this way. Since we didn’t know how I’ll end up feeding the baby, we didn’t invest on a rocker (which are mostly pricey) right away. I own the rocker above, a Eames inspired chair, and I plan on using that one, with my Genuine Real Australian Single Pelt Large Sheepskin Rug and then we can make a decision.

In terms of good design, tough, I love this one, from The Land of Nod, and this more affordable one from Amazon: Nursery Works Sleepytime Rocker, Pebble with Dark Legs.

Did you use a rocker? I’d love to hear from other mama’s out there!

Nursing Pillow

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We chose My Breast Friend: My Brest Friend Breastfeeding Pillow, Natural. The reason is: the reviews are incredible and all the mom’s who own this pillow have only good things to say about it. It seems it will be really useful and I’m truly looking forward to use it soon! It’s 100% organic cotton and it’s supposed to offer great support, which is exactly what I’m interested in.

Nursing Bra / Tanks:

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During the pregnancy, while my breasts started growing non stop (that’s how it felt!), I had to start trying new sizes of bra’s. I didn’t want to invest in bra’s that were just a different size, but also wanted something that was useful and that I could wear once the baby comes. The solution was investing in nursing bras that I’ll be using for quite some time. My mother in law gifted me what has been, so far, the best of all the nursing bra’s I have tried: Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra 1401 (Medium, Butterscotch). It’s comfortable, strong, offers support, doesn’t hurt, it’s simply amazing!

For sleep, I’m using both the Lamaze Sleep Bra (Lamaze Cotton Spandex Sleep Bra for Nursing and Maternity – Black, M) and the Medela Sleep Bra (Medela Womens’ Sleep Maternity & Nursing Bra – White – Large).

Angie gifted me the Medela Nursing Tank and it’s so comfortable it’s really something I see myself using all the time once the baby is here! (Similar: Motherhood Seamless Nursing Cami With Built In Cups).

Breast Pump:

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This is one of the greatest benefits of the healthcare reform. Almost all insurances covering women are obligated to provide a free breast pump for moms! (Thanks, Obama!). We have already checked with our and it seems everything will be ok, we can only apply in May, so we are waiting for it, but we have chosen the Medela Pump in Style, pictured above and I plan on taking full advantage of it. Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump Starter Set-Model # 57081.

It’s also important to mention that this is an incredible personal item, there are double and single pumps, mechanical or automatic, various brands and options. I plan on including Bret on the breast feeding process, since he will not be actually lactating, I want to pump and leave some of the milk for him to feed the baby and promote the bond between them.

We also have a plan B in case my insurance, for whatever reason, fails to provide us with the pump, we selected this one: Philips AVENT Double Electric Comfort Breast Pump, 2015 Version. Hopefully, we won’t have to purchase it.

Bottles:

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We purchased the Kindee Breastfeeding Starter Kit a while back. It seems to be an amazing and easy way to pump, store, save and feed the baby. The same store bag becomes the bottle and I was really attracted to that. Kiinde Breastfeeding Starter Kit.

Now, since we don’t know what the baby will enjoy most, we chose an alternative system and my mother gifted us the entire Avent system: Philips Avent BPA Free Natural Infant Starter Gift Set. It makes me more comfortable to know we have a couple of options to offer the baby, in case we get a picky one!

Other options would be: 2 Pack, Mixie Formula-Mixing Baby Bottles, 4 oz., the Mixie actually looks awesome for formula feeding. The Comotomo Baby Bottle, Pink, 8 Ounce, 2 Count, which mimics the breast, I love that idea. And the Mimijumi Breastfeeding Baby Bottle, 2 Pack.

I plan on updating this section as soon as I learn more about breastfeeding and nursing and I have a better idea of what we will use and need.

Other Registry picks here:

Baby Registry 101

1. Sleep

HAPPY LONG WEEKEND + VALENTINE’S DAY!

 

 

Happy Friday, friends!

Ooooof! What a week!

We have returned home from NYC, unpacked, started packing all over again (to move, this time!), shared some of our registry picks for Bebe Mael with you and Bret has FOUR open houses this long weekend here in Denver and also in Centennial, CO.

Today, I’m 24 weeks pregnant and have my diabetes test! [cross your fingers for me, please!] Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! I made Bret a DIY gift and framed it and hung near he’s bike: it’s all the cities and states where we, including the baby were born!

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If you are in the Denver area, stop by to see us at one of Bret’s Open Houses:

Long Weekend Open House:
Sunday, Feb. 15th. – From 1 -3pm.
Monday, Feb. 16th. – From 1-4pm.
Long Weekend Open House:
Saturday, Feb. 14th, From 12-4pm
Sunday, Feb. 15th, From 1-4pm.

In case you have missed, this is our registry picks for Bebe Mael, a guide I hope to help or inspire other mama’s to be:

Baby Registry 101

1. Sleep

Have a wonderful long weekend!

Baby Registry: Sleep

Sleep felt like one of the most personal categories to shop for the baby. Some prefer to sleep with the baby (co-sleeping), others put the baby in its crib right way, other choose a bassinet and so on… Bret is extremely against co-cleeping. He refuses to share the bed with the baby. Considering how much of an ogre he is (he is an extremely heavy sleeper, he will roll over myself even and there are stories of times he propped himself up by pushing down on my breasts). With all this considered, co-sleeping is not an option for us.

Also, following Montessori principles, we plan on transitioning the baby into its floor bed as soon as possible. So, my priority was to work on the baby permanent sleeping place and have a couple of options for those few weeks when the baby just arrived home, here is what we have come up:

Dream Cot Finish: White

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The baby will have a temporary crib. We chose the babyhome Dream Cot in white as the baby crib. It’s lightweight, I can move it around the house if I feel like it, I can rock the baby in it, but it can also be stationary, it will fit the baby up to 6 months or when the baby is sitting up on its own.

There are options for the mattress for the babyhome, like the BabyHome Organic Coco Mat Mattress and plenty of options for that size of crib sheets as well: BabyHome Cot Naturalmat Organic Percale Fitted Sheet, or BabyHome Cot Fitted Sheets (2 pack).

Here is an option to the Dream Cot Finish: White: the Baby Bjorne Cradle and a budget option would be the Chicco Lullago Travel Crib.

Bassinet

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This was probably the most special product we got for the baby, it’s a family heirloom, passed down by generations from Bret’s parents and grandparents. Both Bret’s mother and Bret himself slept in this bassinet when they were babies and I can’t even begin to explain how special that is to us. We really wanted something we could keep near our bed at night, to make feedings easier, and also something I can have in the living room during the day, in case the baby decides to snooze.

Here are a few options from around the web, for a moses style bassinet: Trend Lab Moses Basket Set, Pique Natural, which you can prop up using the stand (Rocking Wooden Moses Basket Stand- Antique White).

If you want a chic option, this Serena & Lily’s moses basket is extremely high rated:

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Also, if you are looking to repurpose a moses basket, there are endless options for new mattresses and sheets available today! (i.e.:aBaby Organic Fitted Moses Basket Sheet, WhiteNaturepedic Organic Cotton Bassinet Oval Pad).

Blankets and Swaddles:

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 10.46.30 AMWe are going, mostly, with Aden and Anais blankets and Swaddles. The reviews are incredible, there is not one mom who can say anything bad about Aden and Anais products.

We chose the aden by aden + anais Easy Swaddle, Safari Friends – Giraffe, Small/Medium and plenty of the aden by aden + anais Swaddleplus Safari Friends, 4 Count. They are pricey, so it’s worth to keep an eye on promotions on Amazon. Also, my mom has been diligent in looking inside Marshals and TJMaxx to see if she can find those at amazing prices and I think we got it! Plus, super cute!

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We also chose a couple of wearable blankets, for when the hotter months and to give the baby more freedom with the arms and hands. Ex.: aden + anais 100% Cotton Muslin Sleeping Bag, Life’s A Hoot, Large.

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I mean, how cute is this? ^^

Baby Monitor: 

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This was Bret’s area of research, he is the one wh loves technology and also we wanted to take into consideration our specific needs, we don’t live in a large home with multiple floors, the baby will be, considerably, near us at all times, yet, we wanted something we could monitor and watch the baby during nap times and early evening so Bret settled on this monitor:  WiFi Baby 4: Wireless iPhone, iPad, Android Baby Monitor & Nanny Cam DVR. Video, Audio, Recording. Anywhere. (WFB2015).

Coincidently his parents own one of this guys they used with their dog, Bear, and currently are not using it anymore, so we inherited it, which is fantastic! Thanks, Bear!!! The coolest part about it, the grandparents in NJ will be able to see the baby online from any iphone/ipad device. How cool is that?

Humidifier:

This is a big, important item here in Colorado. The weather is already super dry all the time. We have humidifiers in the living room and in our bedroom and the baby will have its own humidifier to keep things manageable.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 11.03.39 AMWe chose this one:  Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier with 2.3 Gallon output per day – White – it’s a good size, not too big, not ugly, not horrible design, all important points, of course! :)

Pacifier:

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I used pacifiers for an absurd amount of time, it’s not even worth it disclose that information here! :) And, yes, I did have to use braces for about 8 years of my life. I don’t know any stories about Bret and pacifiers, I’m listing this item here so I can ask his mom, but, when in desperation, anything goes.

We chose this one: Philips Avent BPA Free Soothie Pacifier, 3+ months, Green, 2 Count – it has great reviews and it seems to be well received by newborns. We also got a couple of different ones just in case the baby decides on something else. I want to be prepared! :)

Just for cuteness sake we got a couple of WubbaNubs:

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WubbaNub Green Frog – it’s just to cute to pass on it!

Mattress:

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For the floor mattress, which is what we plan that will be the baby’s permanent sleeping area, we chose a good quality organic mattress: Simmons Kids Beautyrest Beginnings Naturally Healthy Nights Infant and Toddler Mattress. We wanted something that could be firm enough to  be an infant mattress, but also it could transition into a toddler bed in the future. The idea is to invest well into a piece that will grow with the baby! I loved the reviews on this mattress and a natural, organic mattress was really a priority for me!

We also chose a fitted crib pad that’s waterproof, and for sheets: American Baby Company Interlock Crib Sheet Organic, Natural. I also love this one: QuickZip Crib Sheet Set, White. I’m sure, with time, the cute crib sheets will appear, but for now, we are focused on the basics and simple, modern, good quality products to start!

Nightlight:

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This is, surprisingly, an item of much debate at home. Bret like to sleep in the most absolute dark room possible. I love night lights. I’d like to see when I need to get up and pee or feed the baby. So, for now, we settled on this small nightlight for the baby’s sleeping area and are still debating on adding an amber night light for the baby.

This is the Mobi Wallmate Night Light – Monkey.

Vacation: a peak into our time in New York

 

 

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First up, we flew in on the 23rd for Bret’s Grandparents 60th Wedding Anniversary. That’s right people, these love birds have been together for 60 years! What an inspiration for us, whom have just gotten married. It was such a beautiful celebration, Bret’s mother and her brother put together an amazing party, there were awesome pictures of the course of those 60 years been shown on a slide film and watching the two of them dance to their original wedding song was just a privilege. Everyone had tears in their face at some point, it was a very emotional event!

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The great couple dancing to their wedding song. Bret also got to dance with his grandmother, I made a video of it and it’s oh so special!

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An offbeat diaper bag…

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While I’m constantly working on my research about baby and al baby related things, preparing my nursery and enjoying the last few months with this huge belly, I came across this bag. It’s cool, and it would make an awesome offbeat baby bag or diaper bag.

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BABY REGISTRY 101

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Registering for Bebe Mael was a challenge, to say the least. Both Bret and I have never had a baby before. Both Bret and I were babies over 30 years ago, our mom’s had access to a fraction of the products available today, if that! Bret has very few friends with children and I have a couple of my besties with children. We really accepted each and every recommendation that came our way. The way I see it, the people with experience are the ones I should listen to!

However, it felt to me that a registry is also something extremely personal. A product that’s good for me might not be the exact right product for you. You need to adapt and incorporate aspects such as how you live, your lifestyle, how much you travel, the size of your home, your aesthetics, values and much more into any single decision.

For us, a few things were a priority:

1. a reduced footprint. Babies is America have way too much shit, the way I – as a Brazilian – see it. Also, we live in a small apartment, own only one car and two bikes and have no plans on extending our footprint in this world. (Although, if you ask Bret he is ready to buy into the American dream, purchase a mini van, move into a multiple floors home, etc…).

2. functionality and practicality is a priority. Although I love myself some pretty packaging and gorgeous looking product, I’m trying my best to stick to functional, practical, useful things instead of the pretty and useless ones. This helps me keep the footprint small as well.

3. find the right products for us. We are trying to take into consideration that we have a small home (so, no gigantic crib for us, for exemple), that we bike together as a family more than drive (so a bike/stroller combo was a priority), that we live near a dam, a reservoir and I need an all terrain stroller, it’s not a 100% urban living.

4. find design oriented, modern products. I want to invest in pieces that will grow with my child (convertible car seat instead of newborn/infant car seat), but that also are design oriented, it’s important to me to love what I own, to be able to look at it and admire it, and I sincerely hate the pink/blue combo os colors most children products are made with. In fact, these two colors are banned from our home. I could go as far a stating that, to me, you teach color theory, a love for aesthetics and design from home. But then I would be going too far with this discussion… :)

5. montessori friendly products. We plan on introducing true Montessori principles from birth. We want our baby to take advantage of a upbringing that will focus on freedom with boundaries, independence, liberty, education, learn through play and much more. so, the products we choose need to reflect our philosophy at the home.

After we had determined these important points, our search became easier and the world of reviews available online also helped us a lot.

I’m now 23 weeks pregnant (and feeling great!), I’ve had our baby shower in NYC and we have also invested in the key pieces we believe will be essential for life with a newborn. We are so excited to be preparing for this baby’s arrival and we believe we have chosen a good chunk of well-designed, practical, funcional, modern, montessori-friendly pieces that I’d love to share here with you during the next few weeks.

We have chosen to register at Amazon  they have what feels like an unlimited amount of products, reviews, recommendations and you also can add items from any website through their universal wish list button, which we have used a lot. Also, after the baby’s due date Amazon offers 10% discount on the completion of your registry and if you also are an Amazon Mom subscriber, your discount is even bigger: 20%. We plan on taking advantage of that after the baby is born, purchasing the last few products we need and things we learn along the way.

This week, I will be kicking off the series with my picks for sleep. I will add a new category each week. I hope to help other mom’s out there on choosing top products for their babies, but I’d like to also put emphasis on the fact that a registry is really personal and what is good for our family might not be a good fit for others. I’d love if you could share your own recommendations, reviews and experiences as well!