Delilah Dior Dominica
A woman's journey exploring her passion for Faith, fashion and travel.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

33 Week Update

Well, I had great intentions to update you all frequently this pregnancy. Clearly that didn't go as planned as we are currently 7 weeks out from my due date! People warned me how different this pregnancy would be. They said the constant bump photo snapping, baby book reading and rest would be a thing of the past-they were right. We didn't find out the gender so we're looking forward to the surprise of a lifetime very soon. Oshiolema was born two weeks early so I'm prepared for the fact that we could potentially meet our new baby in five weeks or even less! 

How far along: 33 Weeks.
Total weight gain: 30 pounds.

Maternity clothes: There are upsides and downsides to being pregnant in the summer. One of the upsides has to be the clothing options. Since I gave birth in the dead of winter with Oshiolema, getting dressed is just so much easier than it was this stage in the pregnancy last time around! The only actual maternity clothing I've worn this time is a pair of white maternity jeans from JCrew, my favorite Old Navy tees and compression tights made for pregnancy. I wear dresses almost every day lately because it's just too hot and uncomfortable to put on anything else.   

Sleep: I have slept so much better this pregnancy than I did with my first. The baby is so, so active but once I can get some peace and quiet in my belly I'm fast asleep. I'm certainly sleeping much less with a toddler and definitely have some random chunks of the night I'm just wide awake for no reason but mostly I sleep pretty well. Hubs started doing "the early morning shift" a few months into the pregnancy so I can have a little prayer time at 7 and come down to start the day with Oshiolema at 8. This way on those days where  he randomly wakes up at 5 instead of his usual 6:30/7, they head to the park or play in the basement so I still get to rest (which makes me feel so blessed every day)

Currently Missing: Energy, motivation, and the simplicity of not being pregnant. Hopefully that makes sense-growing a life adds a whole new level of self awareness that can be hard to keep up with at times. When I'm not pregnant, things like not having time to have a full meal or not having enough water in a day are a bummer but don't really make a blip on the radar. While pregnant, little things like that will affect my body for the whole day. I think it's just a way to grow in selflessness and awareness before the baby arrives

Movement: I'm convinced I just make really active babies. This child moves all day long to the point that I can feel bruised from the inside by the end of the day. It's pretty amazing and I wouldn't change it for anything! 

Cravings: I unfortunately have more of a sweet tooth this time around than I did last pregnancy and do my best to hold off on a craving until I I certainly have more aversions and things that don't sound good than cravings, though. With Oshiolema, starting when he was just two weeks old I had to cut out just about everything from dairy to soy to gluten and more. This reality put things in perspective that I want to have the healthiest pregnancy possible but still indulge here and there and enjoy this season. 

Symptoms: I have a mean case of varicose veins on my entire right leg and that has been the most challenging part of the pregnancy. They're really unattractive but also really painful and wearing compression tights in the summertime isn't the friendliest pairing. I have also just felt way more pregnant than I am since about the 20 week mark, which I hear is just part of the deal when you have two babies in two years.

Looking forward to: Moving to Dallas for a few months (more details to come) in a few days! My brother and his girlfriend came  to pick up my car and the trailer to drive all the way down to Texas last week so all that's left is jumping on the plane and settling in. I'm looking forward to meeting with some midwives, getting acquainted with the pediatrician and just making it our home for a while.

Exercise: I have been much more active this pregnancy than last time around. Obviously, there's the toddler chasing that keeps me busy. In addition to that I try to do 30 minutes of cardio and a little bit of strength training four times a week and sneak walks in here and there. Staying physically strong throughout pregnancy is really important for me and while it's super challenging at times I try to make it a priority. I have been feeling about 90 years old in my last few workouts though so if you're picturing me in beast mode with a're wrong. Think more Betty White aerobics than Serena Williams training. 
My muscles are pretty soft and I'm carrying a good amount of water weight everywhere but knowing that I'm healthy is the goal.

Favorite moments this week: Well, it wasn't this week exactly but recently I've been slowing down to make intentional memories while we are just a family of three. We try to eat outside in our screened in porch just about every night we're home to make dinnertime special, the three of us make a big breakfast together every Saturday, have a sweet bedtime routine I'm really savoring and so many other routines and traditions that mean the world to us. I am more aware every day that we won't be able to give him our full, undivided attention at all times anymore and while its bittersweet, I'm enjoying the time I still have to do so. 

Also, Oshiolema is only 18 months old so he can't fully grasp concepts like "big brother" and "new baby" but mannnn...dude is obsessed with my belly. Even before I started showing, right when we found out we were pregnant he developed this huge attachment to my bump. He will point to it and say "baby!" no less than a hundred times a day. He rests his head on my belly for comfort, is learning to give "gentle pats to baby" and encourages people to kiss my belly. It's just the sweetest thing and I know I'll be a giant ball of mush when it comes time for him to meet his new little brother or sister for the first time. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Gifts for the New Baby

Newborn gifts have a sweet way of pulling at heart strings (of both the gift-giver and gift-receiver) and I wanted to share a few of my favorites for blessing the new baby. I have to say, putting this baby girl mood board together has me itching for a little lady in my life! Oshiolema will be a fantastic big brother either way and we're so excited to find out just who this baby is very soon.

  1. Fashion Book: I have been a huge fan of all the new fashion infused books for little girls being written lately. This Little Piggy Went to Prada seems like a precious addition to any little girl library. 
  2. The Laundress ‘Just for Baby’ kit: Though sometimes you just can’t beat the classics when it comes to laundering baby clothes, this new brand “The Laundress” Is something I can really get behind. All products are all natural, gentle and non-toxic, which surprisingly isn’t true for the detergent I swore by up until now. The packaging is pretty enough to elevate any laundry room and the signature scent includes traces of vanilla, lily of the valley and lavender- a welcome escape from the poop likely being scrubbed out of the back of that onesie. 
  3. Precious Shoes: Though I am still a fan of Freshly Picked Moccasins, I have been looking for sweet alternatives for the baby shoe collection. These sweet lace ups are completely impractical but I love a bit of an old fashioned look in a teeny tiny shoe.
  4. Non Toxic Teether: We try our best to keep all of the toys in the house non-toxic, BPA and PBA free. Yes We still have enormous plastic toys that just get the job done better than anything else, but I do my best to be especially conscious of all the toys that I know will spend most of their time in baby’s mouth. I don’t like the thought of baby spending hours upon hours every day sucking and chewing a toy unless I know it’s safe. This Doughnut teether is both adorable and completely safe. 
  5. Magnificent Baby Onesie: A friend of mine introduced me to this brand by gifting Oshiolema with a onesie when he was 3 months old. It was just before his first flight and she explained it would be life changing for our trip. She was not lying! Friends, this onesie is magnetic. That’s right. No buttons, no zippers, it’s just a track of teeny tiny magnets that stands between you and changing that diaper. It’s especially helpful on a plane or for road trip travel but just as welcomed for everyday ease. We LOVE our Magnificent Baby clothing and it’s a go-to of mine to gift the new baby.
  6. Hooded Bath Towel: this isn’t a new concept…I just can’t get over how sweet the neon pink stars are.
  7. Muslin Swaddle: Aden + Anias have undoubtedly cornered the market on the muslin swaddle (and for good reason- they are the absolute best in the business.) However, I love seeing small independent companies popping up with limited color ways of swaddles. The fabric is incredible and the prints are just so much fun. Nothing beats a graphic and cool swaddle to drape over baby’s car seat, use a nursing cover, wrap baby in or just have on hand for whatever needs come up. Every newborn needs a great swaddle blanket collection. 
  8. Mommy and Baby Book: I’ve gotta say, I have had a hard time finding sweet books about babies and their mommas. The books I have about Mommy and Baby are either strictly educational about animals or just not very fun to read. This book about a zebra named Ollie seems precious.
  9. Lovie: We were gifted with so many stuffed animals for baby in the months leading up to my due date and though you really can’t go wrong in this department, I found myself especially drawn to things with hand knit details and cool textures that I know baby would love. 

Gown:: I’m so glad my mom talked me out of the original outfit I proposed bringing Oshiolema home in. It had so many buttons and separate pieces that I didn’t even dress him in it until a month later. When I asked her what he should wear she said simply, “a gown.” I was so thankful for elastic bottom gowns in those first few days of life- baby was snug and happy and it was breezy enough to help the umbilical cord stump dry. I would update it with this cool graphic black and white version.
Toxic Free Toys: again, if I know my baby would be endlessly sucking and chewing on a toy I much prefer it be free of all yucky stuff. The rainbow wooden ball toy is so beautiful and fun that countless adults stopped us to ask where we got it. (It looks like a giant bracelet) Grimm has become a favorite brand of mine for toys like this
Black and White Book: I have a huge soft spot for black and white so I prefer things in that color way as it is, but babies actually much prefer black and white to ranges of color. Their retina aren’t fully developed at birth so all the pastel colors we think are so beautiful aren’t quite registered by them yet. This book fits the bill to be able to stimulate baby.
Neutral Sleep Sack: This is a gift for later down the line as Oshiolema slept in a sleep sack from when we finally stopped swaddling him all the way until a couple weeks ago. In fact, we still pop him in a sleep sack every now and then simply because when they’re littler it’s not safe to lay a blanket over them and now that he’s older he’s decided he doesn’t like blankets at all. This striped pattern is perfect.
Modern Memory Book: It is hard enough to remember to brush your teeth in those first few months, let alone trying to remember the little details of the days that make up baby's first year. Modern memory books make jotting down highlights and milestones both easy and something to look forward to. 
Wooden Car:Again, a toy that’s safe for baby to munch on and pretty to look at while they’re too little to do anything but eat it is a win-win in my book
Knit Crown: these crowns serve as beautiful decoration and perfect photo props in those early months.
Passport Cover: Oshiolema has been on upwards of 30 flights in his one-and-a-half years of life and one of the cutest things I've ever seen is a little baby's passport photo. If I know a baby is about to rack up some serious frequent flyer miles, this is the perfect gift. 
Unique Rattle: these knit rattles are so fun- nothin like a baby boy workin’ on his muscles


Monday, July 11, 2016

Gifts for the New Mom

I was fortunate enough to have my first baby at the same time as some of my dear friends entered motherhood as well. Though traditionally newborn gifts have been reserved exclusively for the expected bundle, one of my favorite things to do was surprise the new mama with a little something special for herself rather than just a baby blanket or stuffed animal. Of course I think it's important to respect the registry provided, but I also believe if you love someone and they have just brought a life into this world I say why not gift them with something that says "you're amazing!" It's such a tender time for a woman-we're sleep deprived, not really feeling ourselves, in full on sacrifice-and-serve mode and our normal routines are completely out the window. I've found a little elevated special something can really brighten our days in that newborn haze.

Bubble Bath: This is my favorite bubble bath. The glass container elevates the whole experience from a quick dip to a long recharge.

Undies: This may seem a little personal but I love to gift a new mom with a set of simple and pretty underthings. They may seem to be mocking in nature at first- what with the mesh underwear situation probably going on currently- but they serve as a beautiful reminder that this phase will soon be over. Pretty underthings shall return. 

Chocolate: Does this need a description? I will say, receiving a luxury chocolate (from brands like Mast Brothers and Compartes) feels extra special. My own personal theory is that great packaging makes chocolate taste even better (: 

Juice: One of the things that made me feel most myself after having a baby was taking care of me from the inside out since taking care of me from the outside in (a.k.a. normal hygiene) was not always a guarantee. Also, those first few days of breastfeeding leave a mama absolutely parched. Gifting a new mom with a fresh juice delivery ensures she’ll get a big dose of vitamins and nutrients to counter-balance the heaps of cookies and casseroles being delivered. Greens like broccoli can be tricky on newborns stomachs while nursing but I never had a problem with other power greens such as kale.

Disposable Mask Treatment: Who doesn’t love being pampered at the end of a long day? Okay, now, who doesn’t love being pampered at the end of a string of 12 long days with very little sleep and questionable hygiene routines? These eye pads are indulgent and a bit pricey but they will be such a treat when mama needs to magically look like she has actually gotten a full night’s sleep at some point in the last month. 

Face Oil: My skin has never felt dryer than in the first few weeks home with a baby. Granted, I did give birth in the dead of January when air was dry and cold, but despite sleeping with a humidifier near our bed and trying to keep up with my skincare routine I couldn’t get the moisture I was looking for. Breastfeeding and drastic changes in hormones (plus too many nights of forgoing any kind of skincare whatsoever) did a number on my face. I found that a special oil made me look forward to my nightly routine and also came through on its promises. I recommend gifting Rodin oil. Her skin will be quenched, her bedtime routine will be elevated and her sink will never look better. (The oil linked is an absolute luxury but there are great face oils everywhere from Target to Sephora at a much lower price point.) 

Tinted Lip Balm: After giving birth the first time around, I gave myself six weeks to schlump around the house in a newborn haze. Milk stained t-shirts , greasy hair, glasses and yoga pants were the standard. After that I decided in order to feel like myself again, I needed to actually put myself together every morning. I’m not talking Kardashian “together,” just normal human “together.” For me, this meant getting dressed in a dress, a nursing friendly top and jeans of some sort, or a full on athleisure look as long as it was an outfit, applying tinted moisturizer, blush and mascara, and if I was feeling extra special- something on my lips. I learned quickly, however, that newborns don’t mix well with lip gloss…or lipstick. Tinted lip balm became my best friend since it offers much needed hydration as well as a smidgen of color that seems to make my face seem finished.

A few items not listed that I also think serve as fabulous gift include a gift card for a manicure while offering to watch the baby during the appointment, a gift card to her local Dry Bar, an offer to come over and clean so she can snuggle her baby OR an offer to come over and snuggle her baby so she can rest, and last but not least...setting up a schedule between friends and family so that meals are provided for the next week or so after the baby arrives. Nothing meant more to me in that time than a friend dropping by a homemade meal or texting and asking what my husband and I wanted from certain restaurants. Long live sweet friends!