ballard designs rug

blazer, also love this one (looks so luxe!) and this one | booties, love this version (on sale) | dress | nameplate necklace | monogram necklace | room details c/o Ballard Designs (reveal coming soon!)

What do you like to do in your free time (when you have it)?

Love this.  Honestly, I do feel like the limited free time I have I’m usually trying to answer direct messages on Instagram, reply to emails, think of new blog post topics, read the contract I’ve put off reading for 6 days… I have a hard time remembering that I need to turn it off.

BUT, I really love taking walks with friends or with our pets.  I love binging a new show or watching movies.  Catching up with friends on the phone.  And as not cool as it is to admit, I love to clean out/organize a closet or drawer. #typeAproblems

What’s your favorite holiday cocktail?

LOVE this question!  I’m a red wine girl to the core, but I love a little spritz.  A recipe that would work with vodka here!

What’s going on with your ring stack lately?

I shared on Instagram Stories earlier this year that my diamond on my engagement ring is always getting loose.  I’ve put a new set of platinum prongs on it, I’ve had it tightened at jewelers in Mississippi, California and Georgia.  It still gets loose.

SO, I’m actually working on something fun with the wonderful owners of Albriton’s Jewelry in Jackson, Mississippi.  We are going to find a way to keep it more secure, and I am so excited!

The answer to this question: my engagement ring has been loose and living in a box and now it’s living in Mississippi.  So I’m always mixing and matching my left hand ring stack.  I’ll mix cz’s like this one and this one with my diamond bands.

What did Carrie Bradshaw Lie about?

I go into that in the FAQ of this site!

Do you miss Orange County?

Definitely!  I’ve never loved a city where I’ve lived as much as OC, but it certainly came at a price.  Not only literal cost of living, but we were also really far from family and spent so much of our time on airplanes.  I know that we were brought to Georgia for a reason, and I can’t really explain it but it feels right.

I have been floored by all of the people I’ve literally known for a few months who have brought us gifts, food and stopped in to meet Hudson.  The people here are so AMAZING.  I’ll always adore our time in Orange County but Georgia is now home, and we are both really happy about that.

Was Christian not able to take paternity leave?  Or if he was, why didn’t he take it?

He did take a week off but was still taking call.  And it was wonderful to have him home to help.

I am used to Christian being gone from 6AM (or earlier) to 8-9PM.  So even having him only work from 8AM to 4 or 5PM is a major luxury for us.  The fact that he is now able to answer my phone call or text during the day if I need him is incredible.

To explain how unavailable he was for the past six years… I can’t even accurately put it into words.  So we are incredibly grateful to be on the other side of training.  It’s a significant life upgrade and only further validates why we waited until now to have a baby.

Do you have a SNOO?

We don’t, and so far I don’t think we need one (although I know some people really swear by them!).  Hudson sleeps really well in his crib, and we somehow got him sleeping in it at around a month old. During the day if we need some help from a swing, we will use the mamaRoo which is less expensive.

He also often naps in this lounger during the day.

But if he wasn’t already a good sleeper?  I’d probably buy anything.

What has been your greatest joy since having a baby?  Biggest frustration?

JOY: I love that when Hudson is upset, my voice, smell and touch seems to be the best at quickly soothing him.  It makes me feel really special.

I also really love seeing how deeply Christian loves this little bitty baby.  He is so present and eager to take care of him and interact with him.  It’s really sweet to watch.

FRUSTRATION:  Since I am breastfeeding, I operate on a very limited time window of “free time” to do laundry, dishes, answer emails/take calls/shoot or edit content/meet deadlines, attempt to manage my DM’s, run any errands, take care of the pets, take care of myself, etc.  It can be frustrating to look at the clock and see it’s 4PM and wonder what I’ve done all day other than change diapers, feed, burp and console a baby.  It can feel like groundhog day.

Even with having help two days a week, when you’re breastfeeding and/or pumping… it’s another part-time job.  I didn’t fully realize that until now.

Will you share your newborn must-haves or hospital bag necessities?

Yes I plan on sharing both!  Hudson is three weeks old and I’ve probably only taken a handful of days off since he was born.  Hoping to take some time in January to slow down.  Because he actually came early on his own, I had a project I had committed to on his (surprise) birthday.  I was literally on my laptop from the hospital bed a few hours after I had him.  It’s just… how it is when you’re a small business owner without an assistant or “team.”

I do know that his job provides a large amount of flexibility.  I’m always incredibly grateful for that and know to appreciate that after six years of working on the corporate side.

Back to the point here, YES I am working on both of these and they’ll probably hit the blog in January.

How is it going with the postpartum belt?

I shared in this post that I bought this belt (just search “postpartum belt” and the post comes up!).  I love it. It helps me feel supported, it offers lower back support and it honestly just feels good to have that kind of pressure.

I’ll wear it all day and sleep in it, but I’ll take it off if I’m going out or it doesn’t work with clothes.  It does add some thickness to your waist which can be difficult under anything remotely fitted like pants or dresses.

What is the nursing tank you bought?

I bought a few of these.

What’s the hardest part of postpartum that you weren’t experiencing?  Or to be as bad?

I had a pretty smooth delivery and therefore recovery hasn’t been as bad as I had anticipated.

I will admit that in that first week, finding time to take care of yourself is tough.  You’re putting all of your limited energy into your baby.  There is very little time that is spent doing anything but tending/taking care of them.

So there were some bathroom tears when I didn’t feel like I had five minutes to myself to use the bathroom or shower.  But every day the juggle gets a little bit more manageable.

Do you let the pets near Hudson?  How are they adjusting?

We do!! It’s just that they have absolutely zero interest in him.  Although when he’s upset, Bailey will occasionally get stressed.  Other than that, they’re like “this isn’t a treat and therefore, I don’t care.”

How are you liking your ToteSavvy in your Neverfull as a diaper bag?

So far, so good!

Do you feel any symptoms of postpartum depression after welcoming Hudson?

I don’t think it’s qualified as PPD, but breastfeeding has brought some waves of emotions.  For me, it has felt lonely and isolating.  It also really clips your wings of independence as no one can feed the baby but you.  I do have a pump and we use bottles as well so that he will learn to take both bottle and breast, but I find all the pump pieces, cleaning it, etc. to also be very time-consuming.  Even if you pump ahead of time to free yourself up, your achey chest will alert you if it’s time to leave.

We’re taking it day by day, and I’m committed to sticking with it through the first few months (as well as through flu season).  If we need to, we’ll explore other options if/when that time comes.  Fed is best.

What was the other baby name you were in between?

I’m not sharing… only because if we have another boy it will definitely be his name!

What kind of burp clothes are you using?

We have been gifted a lot of sweet personalized burp cloths from friends and family, but I also bought and love these.

How did you find your NICU tech who is helping with Hudson?  How does it work with a night nurse?

For our painters, my doctors, our new vet, our NICU tech – I ask, ask, ask.  I always ask around, ask for people’s opinions and experiences.  When I first called her (after so many rave reviews around town), I assumed she wouldn’t be available.  When she was I nearly fell on the floor with relief.

As I don’t have a traditional maternity leave, I knew I would need some help during the day so I could take calls, respond to emails, work on content, meet holiday deadlines, etc.  She is with us two days a week and one night a week.

On those two days a week, not only do I work or run any necessary errands baby-free, but I also ask her a million questions.  I’ve already learned so much from her about his behavior, best practices, etc.  Every baby is different, but she notices things about him that I would certainly overlook if I was without her guidance.  She’s already made many recommendations that have just helped our lives run more smoothly.  Having her with us has helped us all be happier at home.

For the one night we have her with us, I will feed Hudson right before I go to bed.  She stays upstairs with him, checks on him every hour and when he wakes up (usually around 4AM), she brings him down to me and I’ll feed him.  Then I’ll text her, she will come back in the bedroom and take him and burp and change his diaper and get him back to sleep.

It may sound trivial, but on the six nights of the week she’s not here, the entire process of feeding him, burping him, keeping him awake for his feeding, changing diapers and getting him back to sleep takes about an hour.  So just having that one night where I only spend around 20-25 minutes feeding him and never get out of bed = bliss.  I always feel more rested the next day, and it’s really nice to have that one night where I sleep heavier because I’m not waking up to his every squeak or sound.

What is the breastfeeding pillow you use?

My sister and sister-in-law swear by this pillow.  I’m using it and it’s definitely very helpful.

What stroller and car seat did you guys get?

We have the Bugaboo Fox complete stroller + Nuna car seat.  It’s crazy beautiful – I love strolling him in it, and he passes out in the car.  We also have and love the Doona car seat/stroller system.

Are you back to working out yet?

Not yet, but at my 3-week followup with my OB I was approved to go on walks and do some arm exercises under 15 lbs.  So that’s exciting!  She’s instructed me to wait longer for any core exercises as it needs time to heal.  I love my OB, our pediatrician and NICU tech helping us and literally do whatever they tell me to do.

Will you guys have more kids?

Yes.  We don’t know how many children we want, but we’ll just see how it goes.  We usually joke, “we’ll see how much we like the first two and that will determine if we want to have a third.”  It’s a joke… but like, halfway a joke.

Thank you so much for submitting your questions and reading!  If you want to submit any questions for the January Q&A, just leave them in the comments of this post.  And you can see all previous Q&A’s by simply searching “Q&A” in the search bar of this site.

Have a fabulous week! XO –

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10 thoughts on “December Q&A

  1. Q for January Q&A: When you and Christian lived in California, how did you divide up time to see all your family over the holidays? My boyfriend and I are in the same boat with living away from our families!

    1. Because of Christian’s training, we weren’t able to travel home for the holidays (I haven’t been to my family’s home for a holiday in 7 years). But I think every other year is usually what makes sense for most!

  2. For January Q and A: what is your bedtime routine with Hudson? Do you feed him until he falls asleep? When did you start putting him in the crib, etc?

  3. Q for January: have you found the Doona car seat/stroller redundant with having a regular car seat and compatible stroller system? When/how do you decide to use one over the other? We’re registered for both based on recall from friends but some family have been like “wtf why though”. Thank you!!

  4. I want to say that you are KILLING IT. I’m so glad you have help, but you’re so right- breastfeeding makes taking care of the baby almost entirely your job! The newborn season was really difficult but also really sweet. I felt the same about breastfeeding at first – difficult and isolating. It gets so much better tho- you both learn how to do it more efficiently/comfortably/etc. Now I have a 10 month old and I kind of dread weaning her! Just wanted to tell you that you’re doing a great job!!

  5. I just wanted to send a little mama encouragement! I remember in those first weeks feeling super accomplished when at the end of the day the baby was fed and well and I maybe accomplished one other thing—like cutting her nails or taking a shower haha. And while those days seem long—and they are—it will not last forever and it gets easier. It definitely took time for me to find myself again, and honestly I wasn’t the same, but it wasn’t a bad thing. I admire your entire outlook from birth to feeding to how your family functions. You are doing great, you are exactly what your little boy needs—the perfect mama for him! I hope your family has a very Merry Christmas!

    1. This is just so, so sweet. Thank you so much for this encouragement, Jessica! I think I find so much JOY in being efficient and getting things done that being forced to do less has been difficult. But it’s all a season. One day at a time! Big hugs XO –

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