In the last week or so, Bear has become so, so much more engaged with the world — and one of the most fun changes is that now he *loves* story time. We’ve been reading to him since he was born, but for the first two months, it sort of felt like we were reading picture books into a vacuum — he didn’t really respond to them or engage in any way while we did it.
Then, suddenly, it was different. He loves the words, he loves the pictures, he sits there and grins at us when we read about hippos and bunnies and (of course) Baby Bear.
A few weeks ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended reading out loud to kids starting at birth, as a way to encourage the development of critical language skills in infancy. My parents were wonderful about reading to me as a kid, and I don’t think I’d have such a love for reading and writing as an adult if they hadn’t (I might not even have this blog)! So we’re going to do our best to give Bear the same foundation — and, as a bonus, as you can see from the photo above, story time tends to be pretty wonderful.
As a side note, when we read the AAP article, Chad’s reaction was: “Great, we’ve already been reading to him.” Mine was: “But, wait, I think there was a day when we didn’t read to him once. I didn’t read to him in the hospital. WE HAVE MISSED AN OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE OUR BABY CRITICAL LANGUAGE SKILLS AND OMG THIS IS THE WORST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED EVER.”
Gah. Still working on coping with my perfectionist tendencies!
Remember how I wrote about my pregnancy style tips, and I was all, “gosh, you guys, it’s so hard to dress cute while you’re pregnant?”
Silly, silly girl. Dressing cute while pregnant was a piece of cake. Just throw on a tight shirt and some maternity jeans and you’re good to go — cute, big round belly and all! Also, people have zero expectations for pregnant women to dress cute: I once showed up at a doctor’s appointment wearing (I kid you not) a tank top, jean shorts and a necklace, and she was like, “WHOA, what are you up to today, you are looking GOOD!”
But then the baby pops out, and you can suddenly, more or less, wear whatever you want again.
Only you can’t.
Because you’re breastfeeding. And you have a screaming newborn who mandates that your boobs be accessible at all times, no matter what, LADY.
So you can wear exactly four things, which, in my wardrobe, consisted of the following:
A flannel shirt.
A zip-up hoodie.
And wrap dresses. Thank GOD for wrap dresses.
That being said, I do have a few pieces of advice that I learned by trial and error, so I figured this would be a good subject for a post! So, if you’re breastfeeding (hopefully you are!) and stuck in a style rut, here are my ideas:
Muscle Shirts: This is my personal favorite. You know those shirts with arms that are cut super low? I wear those tank tops with a bandeau bra underneath, and they are literally the easiest thing to breastfeed in EVER. Even in public. No lifting up your shirt, no fiddling with clasps. Just slide the arm-hole to the side, pull down the bandeau, attach the baby and you’re done. When Bear was about three weeks old, I went to Forever 21 and bought five random muscle shirts for specifically this purpose.
Deep V Necklines: You don’t need to shell out extra money for “nursing wear” in most cases, but take a long look through your closet before the baby arrives and pull out every single top you own that has a deep-V neckline. See those? Those are your wardrobe for the next two months.
Classic Wraps: Wrap dresses are legitimately a lifesaver while breastfeeding, especially if you have to look reasonably professional at any point in the first month or two. They’re always stylish and chic, and no one will ever know that you put it on out of necessity! Check out some of my favorites here, here and here.
One Official “Nursing” Piece: You don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe while breastfeeding, but it’s nice to pick up at least one piece that’s specifically designed to be convenient for this particular function. I had three: two nursing tanks from H&M that I didn’t like at all and a terrific striped “nursing tee” from Boob Design that I absolutely loved. When I went out for lunch in those early weeks, this was what I wore, every time.
Go Strapless: I never would have guessed this, but strapless dresses are about ten-zillion times easier to wear while breastfeeding than dresses with straps! (And sleeves? Forget about it.) But that turned out to be a terrific realization, because I have tons of strapless dresses in my closet! So when I wanted to look cute for something social (I snapped the pic above on my way to a friend’s house for a playdate), I just picked one and threw it on — and actually managed to look cute in the process!
Those are my favorite tips! After three months of breastfeeding, Bear now eats at more regular intervals and my options have expanded a lot — but for his first two months, I basically lived in these pieces! What were your breastfeeding favorites?
I sort of can’t believe this, but today is Chad and my five year anniversary! So, in honor of that very exciting milestone, I thought I’d share our makeshift-wedding-video with you guys.
The back story: We hired a fabulous photographer for our wedding, but decided against a videographer — I was worried that it would be too intrusive to have both, and really wanted to focus on experiencing the day as much as I possibly could. But, a few days before the wedding, I started having serious second thoughts — video is a totally different medium than photos, and what if I wanted to see those real, live moments in the future?
So I created a backup plan: at the rehearsal dinner, I gave my little Flip camera to my friend Loran, and asked him to capture some of the big moments — walking down the aisle, our first dance, cutting the cake, etc. And he did an amazing job! The camera quality wasn’t great (I would have given anything for an iPhone 5 in those days!) but he captured all those moments so I can remember them forever.
And about 18 months after our wedding, I finally turned those little clips into this video:
I’ve probably watched it a thousand times since then — it’s so wonderful to be able to relive that special day in a tiny way.
Five years later, I realize that our wedding day was just a day — a wonderful, incredibly special day, but still only one single day in our many-year marriage. But it was the day that we pledged to share our lives, forever, in front of all our family and friends, and that’s something incredibly special. Even if it was just one single day.
Everyone always says that marriage is work, and of course it is — but it’s also, by far, the single most wonderful aspect of my life. In this huge world with billions of places and people and things, I feel so lucky to have found this person who makes me better every single day, who cares about me and our dogs and our son so deeply, and who never fails to make me laugh, cheer me up, or fill me with the most intense gratitude for our wonderful life together.
So happy anniversary to my amazing husband. Five years down, at least fifty more to go.