Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Recap

Hiya lovebugs! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, whichever you celebrate, filled with love and cheer and just wonderful things!

This year, Christmas was literally the quietest Christmas I've ever experienced in my 20some Christmases. Growing up being very close with my mom's side of the family and my dad's side being ginormous (seriously. I'm the oldest of 20 grandchildren on dad's side), I'm used to big, loud holidays with just a touch of crazy mixed in. And it's totally awesome. This year, however, most of our friends have PCSed to new duty stations, we didn't have anyone flying out for the holiday, and we weren't going anywhere. So a quiet Christmas it was. And while I missed my usual Christmas crazy, it was a completely lovely and cozy holiday with my men :)

Christmas Eve we spent eating freshly popped popcorn from the Whirley Pop I had newly received from one of my best friends. It was warm and crunchy and awesome. We watched Christmas movies with Conner and I drank Pinot Grigio while Derek sipped his own concoction called a bloody mimosa which consists of Brut Champagne (we used Barefoot Bubbly), Tropicana Trop50 orange juice and a squirt of cherry blackberry Mio. They were AWESOME. And totally dangerous...you could easily suck them down like they were water...but better ;)

And before bed, Conner hung the stockings up...

And we set out cookies and milk for Santa, along with our North Pole Communicator so that we could call Santa in the morning and thank him for our presents!

P.S. The tutorial for how to make this plate can be found HERE :)

Christmas morning was pure magic. Santa decorates the tree when he visits our house, so you can imagine the delight on our three year old's face when he came down the stairs in the morning to a brightly lit tree surrounded by presents, and cookie crumbs left on Santa's plate.

Having kids at Christmas just makes the holiday even more rad.

Our day was filled with smiles and delight from our sweet boys. Conner played with all of his new toys with daddy, and I enjoyed a snuggly nap with Jackson. We facetimed with family, we watched A Christmas Story and we enjoyed a yummy dinner of Steak Oscar, garlic mashed potatoes, veggies and cookies for dessert.

Quiet Christmas was a winner :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Jackson's Baptism!

We had Jackson baptized yesterday in a sweet little ceremony at our base chapel. It was particularly special because my youngest brother flew out for the weekend to be here for his godson! Here are a few highlights from the day :)

Our christening gown is really special...it's made from my mom's wedding gown! She had it made for me when Conner was born. His initials are embroidered in blue at the bottom of the gown and Jackson's will soon be added, too. My hope is to make this a family heirloom...pass it down so that my children will use it for their children and so forth, and for the initials of each baby baptized in it to be added to the gown :)

Jax's godmother, Derek's sister, couldn't be here for the day so she sent Jackson a beautiful blanket to be wrapped in and to memorialize the special occasion!

My little man :) Stinker decided he needed to nurse for most of the service, but he did break for a pic with his momma :)

And he did not mind the water at all! He just gazed at us with his sweet little eyes.

Conner was really more interested in trying to blow out his brother's candle than anything...

My men!

Our little family ❤️

And of course there were cupcakes...

Have a great Christmas week, all!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday Cookie Time: Taylor's Peanut Butter Blossoms

Cookie time...day two! Today I'm featuring a recipe from my girl Taylor over at Not Just Another Teen Mom. Her cookies look kind of ridiculously delicious. Enjoy!

Taylor’s Peanut Butter Blossoms

48 Hershey Kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup JIF Creamy Peanut Butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg or egg whites
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. Mix shortening and peanut butter together.
(Tip: Spray your peanut butter measuring cup with non-stick cooking spray. This makes it slide out, and ensures you don’t miss any peanut buttery deliciousness!)
3. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup of brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla;mix. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned (mine took exactly 8 minutes). Immediately press a chocolate into center of each, and place into the fridge to cool!

About Taylor

I’m the writer over at Not Just Another Teen Mom. I’m wife to Andrew, mother to Aiden, and spend my spare time being a writer/artist/crafter extraordinaire. Lover of Jesus and Tarheel Football. I pray a lot, write a lot, swear a lot, and say what I think when I know that I shouldn't. Aspiring world-changer. Teen, now twenty-something Mom. Living life backwards and enjoying the ride. Visit my blog here! (www.notjustanotherteenmom.com)

Not Just Another Teen Mom | a teen, now twenty-something mom. wife. artist. optimist. living life backwards.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Cookie Time: Heidi's Peppermint Stuffed Cookies

Yay for more cookies!! Today's post is brought to you by the absolutely fabulous Heidi over at Best Dressed Babes. Enjoy!

Hi! I'm Heidi, mom to trendy tots Ari & Giada and a giant Goldendoodle named Breslin. I blog over at Best Dressed Babes.  I love to dress my babes in the latest fashion without breaking the bank. You will find trendy outfit inspiration, diy crafts, and kid friendly recipes on my blog.

Who has time to make cookies from scratch?  Certainly not me!! While making cookies is a fun tradition its just so tedious and time-consuming.  I tend to gravitate towards little to no baking recipes.  Between normal holiday hustle and bustle, working full time, and battling some sickness around here I actually contemplated NOT making any cookies this year.  Lucky for me, during one of my daily Target trips, I found this recipe in a coupon book at the register! Target had all 5 ingredients practically sitting next to each other so it didn't get much easier than that.  I decided to go for it!

These cookies are not only delicious, but they really are super easy to whip up in under 30 minutes! I have big plans to make different variations now!  The candy you can stuff inside a sugar cookie is endless!

Peppermint Stuffed Cookies
*Stolen from my homegirl Betty Crocker

1 pouch Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix                
Butter and egg called for on cookie mix pouch for Cutout Cookies                        

24 HERSHEY’S® peppermint bark bell candies, unwrapped                        

1/3 cup HERSHEY’S® semi-sweet chocolate chips   
1/4 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy canes (10 miniature)                        



Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, make dough as directed on pouch for Cutout Cookies.                           

Shape dough into 24 (1-inch "ish") balls. Press 1 HERSHEY’S peppermint bark bell into center of each dough ball, covering completely. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.                           

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, place chocolate chips and shortening. Microwave uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir until melted and smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Immediately sprinkle with candy. Let stand until set, about 1 hour. Store cookies in tightly covered container.


Holiday Cookie Time: Brittany's Boyfriend Cookies

Hey all! With the Christmas holiday coming up quickly, I thought I'd throw a little YUM your way! I'll be featuring some rad cookie recipes made by fellow bloggers over the next week and today's cookie is brought to you by the fabulous Brittany. Enjoy!

Much Love, 

Boyfriend Cookies 

Hi everyone! So these may not be 'holiday cookies' so to speak, but they are my go-to cookie recipe that everybody loves at any time of the year! Take them to potlucks, cookie exchanges, and even when visiting friends and relatives over the break and people will go nuts over these!  They make a great present for the holidays as well, especially for that special man in your life! He's going to die over these, and if he hasn't proposed yet, watch out because he may drop to a knee as soon as he tastes them! 

  • One softened cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces of instant vanilla pudding mix (YES, the entire package of the dry pudding mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • one teaspoon vanilla extract (or a couple drops of pure vanilla extract)
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • one teaspoon of baking soda (the fresher the baking soda the better, or else your cookies may not hold together as well)
  • One cup of milk chocolate chips
  • One cup of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup of M&M’s, any kind you like (you could definitely make these the 'holiday' aspect)
  • 1/2 cup of Reese’s Pieces (the orange and brown M&M looking candies)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
3. Add the pudding mix, eggs and vanilla and cream together again.
4. Combine the flour and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture. 
5. Fold in the chocolate chips and candy. *This is going to be tough as there's going to be a lot of candy so I try adding a little at a time just to make sure it is evenly distributed amongst the dough.

6. Drop tablespoonfuls (or an ice-cream scoop or muffin scooper works best) onto baking sheets.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned (Always make sure to watch whatever you are baking throughout because every oven tends to be different).
8. Cool on wire racks. 

These cookies are awesome to reheat in the oven or microwave for a few seconds to make them gooey again. They also make great ice-cream sandwiches! 

I hope you enjoy! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me or visit my blog.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sleeping Like a Baby: The Ollie Swaddle Review!

I am SO excited to write this review. I have been waiting forever to confirm what I already knew and then write about it: if there's one baby product you absolutely need, it's an Ollie Swaddle.

The story behind the Ollie is ridiculously touching and so heartwarming.

"My story begins when I fell in love with an infant named Oliver. He was handsome, and yet on the verge of being labeled “failure to thrive.” Other foster parents struggled with keeping Oliver because he was difficult, struggling to eat and sleep. But I was in love, and so I began my journey to help Oliver thrive.
My experience in infant mental health had acquainted me with the timeless technique of swaddling. However, to both my and Oliver’s distress, the swaddles available on the market didn’t seem to help. They either didn’t hold him correctly, were not strong enough to apply a comforting pressure, or they left his legs unwrapped. So my mission to help Oliver took a new turn as I searched for a swaddle which would meet all of Oliver’s needs." {shop.theollieworld.com}

Hindi, the amazing creator of The Ollie Swaddle, went on to develop a swaddle blanket that is easy to use, will grow with baby and most importantly is effective in comforting, soothing and helping a little one drift peacefully off to sleep. 

The end result is a swaddle that does just that.

The Ollie comes in two colors currently, blue or pink stripes, and is made of a stretchy, moisture wicking fabric that keeps baby at a comfortable temperature without overheating. It's easy to use, having Velcro panels that allow you to adjust how tightly to swaddle and that allow the blanket to grow with your baby. The most genius feature of this swaddle, however, is the fact that unlike other swaddle blankets on the market you don't have to remove the entire blanket to do a diaper change. That's right...you don't have to unswaddle or wake baby in the middle of the night to wipe their tushies! It's pretty rad. The Ollie has an elastic tie at the bottom of the blanket so for a diaper change, all you need to do is undo the tie and lift up the bottom of the blanket. No need to undo ANY of the Velcro. It makes for easy diaper changes and a baby that isn't upset or screaming because they've been unswaddled and woken. The other great aspect of the Ollie is that because of the material it's made of, baby's arms aren't super pinned down...he or she can wiggle and move their arms as they want to, but still enjoy the pressure of a good swaddle.

We used our Ollie the night we brought Jackson home from the hospital, and he's been in it every night since. We LOVE this swaddle. Wanna know why? Because at three weeks old, Jackson began sleeping solid stretches of 4-7 hours at night between feedings. Meaning he's going to sleep after a before bed feeding and only waking once at night for a quick snack before he drifts back off to sleep until the morning. Do you know how awesome that is? With Jax being exclusively breastfed right now, those longer stretches of sleep at night are really wonderful...and so needed for me. Conner never slept that well until he was supplemented with formula at night, and he hated being swaddled. So for Jackson to be comfortable, enjoying the swaddle, and sleeping so well is just amazing.

When we wrap Jax in the swaddle after his bed time feed, you can instantly watch the effect of swaddling on him. A restless mover, when he is swaddled he instantly settles and relaxes into sleep. It's incredible to watch. And when he wakes in the morning, still in the swaddle, he is so content, only really fussing if he's got a messy diaper that need to be changed. Often, we will find him in his bassinet laying peacefully, just looking around, perfectly content. What a pleasent way to wake! And he looks sooooo cute wrapped up in it. Derek and I call him a sleepy little glow worm :)

The Ollie Swaddle is now officially on my list of top baby gifts for any of my expecting friends. It's worth every penny! Our experience thus far with it has been amazing and it would easily make a great gift for any new mom.

AND GUESS WHAT?! It's a great time to snag one because Hindi has been kind enough to offer a discount exclusively to This Whole Mommy Thing readers! That's right y'all. You can snag yourselves an Ollie of your own (or two or three...) at a great price. Head over to shop.theollieworld.com and enter code "mommything" at checkout for a 20% discount :) And then go like The Ollie Swaddle on Facebook and follow @theollieworld on Instagram and show Hindi some major love.

Until next time!

Friday, November 21, 2014

London Broil: 6 Hour Marinade!

So yesterday morning I was thinking about what the heck I was going to make for dinner when it occurred to me that I had a London broil in the fridge...that I forgot to marinate...and needed to cook. So I decided to pull some things out of the fridge and spice cabinet and see if I couldn't pull off a 6 hour marinade...

And it worked! Yay.

Traditionally, London broil is a cut of meat that is relatively tough and needs to marinate for at least 24 hours in order to really tenderize. But in a pinch, this marinade is quick, easy and olive oil based which I think helped lock in the spices and aid in getting the meat to tenderize quicker. Win!

For this recipe, you will need:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Worsteshire sauce
1 tbsp of honey mustard (alternatively, Dijon would also work with this marinade)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp of thyme
1/2 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Emerils Essence seasoning (or creole seasoning)

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl or measuring cup. Set aside.

Cut long slits, with the grain of the meat, on either side of your London broil and place the meat in a gallon-sized Ziplock bag.

Pour your marinade into the bag, seal it shut, shake gently so the sauce covers your steak. Place into a glass baking dish and set it in the fridge for at least 6 hours. Remove from the bag before cooking ;)

When you're ready to cook it, you can either grill or broil it. Alternatively you can also cook this in the oven...I dumped the contents of my ziplock into my glass Pyrex baking dish and cooked it for 20 minutes at 425, then flip the steak and cook for an additional 20 minutes. It'll give you the perfect medium steak. And personally, given that this was only marinating for 6 hours, I think baking it in the marinade helped made a difference in the steak not being tough (besides the magic of the sauce).

Obviously, as with any marinade, the longer you let it sit the more flavorful the meat will be. This would easily make an awesome 24 hour marinade, but when you're in a pinch this does a great job of tenderizing the meat and adding some nice flavor.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Let me start by getting this out there. It'll be the hardest thing I talk about through this entire birth story, and I think saying it first will make it easier on me.

I didn't get my VBAC.

I'm devastated in some ways. I'm grieving the loss of yet another birth experience I didn't get to have. I still don't know what it means to push out my babies. I don't know the feeling of lifting my little out of my body and onto my chest. I didn't have my "I did it!" moment. And that sucks.

BUT, I did have a beautiful birth. Much different than Conner's, and one where I felt supported, respected and cared for as a mother. And that is important.

I woke up around 4:45 on October 21st to what I thought were really strong round ligament pains and Braxton Hicks. It wasn't unusual that if i had gotten into certain positions, I'd feel uncomfortable like this and need to adjust...except this time, adjusting did nothing for me. Suddenly I realized that the pains faded off on their own and would return a few minutes later no matter what position I was in.

Holy crap! Was this the beginning of labor?

I started timing my contractions just to see if there was a pattern. 4 minutes apart...6 minutes...5...4 again. Well dang! I propped up a bunch of pillows and tried to relax in bed, still timing. It was early. If this was really going somewhere, I wanted to rest while I still could. Over the next hour, my contractions stayed around 5 minutes apart and grew slightly in intensity. Derek woke up around 6, surprised to see me awake...and even more surprised when I told him he probably should let his commanders know that he wouldn't be at work this morning. Ha! Derek asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. No, I told him, it wasn't time yet. I could still get through my contractions comfortably with breathing so I wanted to hang home a little bit. Derek went downstairs and made me an English muffin and a glass of milk, and Conner woke up and came to lay in bed with us.

After I ate, I told Derek I was starting to get more uncomfortable so I was going to call our friends who were going to take Conner for us and give them a heads up. I decided to take a shower and get myself together...yes, even had hair curled and make up on :) then we loaded up and Derek and I headed to the hospital.

We were met at the hospital by the midwife on rotation that morning who checked me and monitored my contractions. I was having to breathe and concentrate through them by this point. I was almost to 4cms, and was definitely in labor, but she wanted us to walk around a bit before she'd admit me. So Derek and I headed down to the cafeteria and grabbed a couple of breakfast sandwiches, and then walked around the medical mall area of the base hospital. My contractions over the next two hours became strong enough that I needed to stop and hold onto Derek, and occasionally sit down. Excitedly, we headed back to L&D a few hours later. 

When Barb, my midwife, checked me again I was at a solid 4cms...and then...OH! She said, "well, your water just broke!"

Wait, what?

And then GUSHHHHHHHH. Holy crap gush. It seriously gushed! My water freaking broke!
I cried. I looked at Derek and cried. This was happening for real. We were really doing this.

I got admitted and brought to a labor room. An IV was given, as I was GBS positive again, and about an hour later I asked for an epidural. I was exhausted and my contractions were not bearable any longer. I needed some relief.

At some point after my epidural had been administered, I hit transition. And my god did I hit it hard. The vomiting started and it was relentless. I couldn't even hold down ice chips. I was excited though, it meant my body was working and baby was coming, or so I thought. It was evening by now and I was at 6cms, and it was time for a midwife shift change...

And in walked one of the two midwives I had seen my entire pregnancy and loved. I was so excited! Kristen checked me, pleased that I was making progress (6cms was so exciting...I only made it to 5 before Conner needed to be born via emergency c-section!). She let me rest a bit and decided to start me on a very low dose of pitocin as she was concerned that I was showing signs of labor stalling. We also turned down my epidural a bit and I changed positions as much as I could to encourage baby to come all the way down.

Kristen was really great about not putting me on a clock and being patient. She wasn't into the usual "every two hour" cervical checks and instead popped her head in often to see how I was feeling and checked me every 4-5 hours instead. On her second check, I was at 7cms, but still incredibly nauseous and vomiting and just miserable. She offered me something to help combat the sickness and which would also let me rest a bit. She thought rest might help me continue to progress, too.

I woke up a few hours later to Kristen and my other favorite midwife, Rachael, coming in for another shift change. I hugged Kristen tightly, thanking her for her excellent care...and hugged Rachael excited that I had lucked out with having them both as part of my labor team. Kristen gave Rachael a request not to check me for another two hours, and I tried to rest again.

And then the nurse came in. The baby was showing signs of no longer tolerating the labor well.

And then the cervical check came. I was still at 7cms and had been there for 10 hours.

And then the conversation happened. With the most apologetic look in her eyes, Rachael recommended a c-section. Knowing how difficult and heartbreaking Conner's birth had been for me, and seeing that this baby was now beginning to show early signs of distress, Rachael suggested we opt for the surgery now while it wasn't considered an emergency and could still be a peaceful, healing birth. It was my decision though, completely. She was very much willing to go another two hours as long as the baby didn't take a turn for the worse, but her fear was another emergency c-section and she didn't want me to go through that again.

I bawled my eyes out. I couldn't believe this was happening. After 27 hours, 27 HOURS of active labor, my body was failing me yet again. And while I could have opted to wait a few hours, I feared it would end like Conner's birth had and I would be even more devastated than I already was. Derek hugged me and told me it was all going to be ok, and I agreed to the c-section. I trusted my midwife. If she didn't think a c-section was needed and wasn't concerned, she never would have suggested it. And I have full faith and confidence in that.

Rachael must have prepped my surgical team with the knowledge that I was heartbroken over my failed VBAC because a few minutes later I was greeted by the sweetest anesthesiologist and two female OBs who assured me that everything was going to be ok and promised that this would be nothing like my emergency c-section. I was prepped and taken back to the OR and while I waited for Derek to be brought back, the baby nurse talked to me and offered to help me nurse and enjoy skin-to-skin time while my surgery was being completed. I, again, cried. I had missed that with Conner who needed to be taken to the NICU. It meant so much to me to have that...I was grateful for her offer.

I closed my eyes as my surgery began and let go. My baby would be here soon. It was all going to be ok. My doctors and nurses talked to me and through everything, and suddenly I heard Derek tell me that we had a sweet baby boy. Jackson was here! And he looked just like his brother. He let out a sweet cry as they wrapped him in a blanket and delayed clamping before Derek cut the cord. And then they brought him to me. I kissed his little face over and over again. I breathed in the sweet scent of my new baby. And then we nursed.

And it was wonderful.

Jackson Derek
October 22, 2014  9:22am
7lbs 14oz  19.5 inches


Sunday, October 5, 2014

I Hate Pants...and I Want Wine.

I'm 37 weeks pregnant.

Remember that cat meme I shared in a previous pregnancy update and joking noted that I was feeling great at the time but I was sure the cat was inevitable? Let me remind you...

Photo credit: Pinterest

I empathize with said feline.

I'm huge. Even my maternity clothes are starting to not fit. And I hate pants. With a passion. All clothes, really, but pants especially. And seriously...

Photo credit: Pinterest

I know, I'm so crabby. But I think when you're this pregnant you get a pass and are allowed to be...right? Besides the fact that yesterday I woke up with a raging cold. It's less than ideal, so I should get an extra crabby pass.

I've hit that point...I'm ready to get this baby out. While I'm more than happy to accommodate the nugget until he or she is ready to make an entrance, I'm really feeling anxious to get my VBAC, meet my nugget, sleep on my belly, be able to breathe...and have a glass of wine. Or a beer. Whichever is more readily available. I'm ready to start feeling like myself again, as opposed to a human oven. And I'm reaaaaaallllly ready to not walk like a lopsided penguin...

Photo credit: Pinterest

I will say, however, that I'm focusing hard on enjoying the crazy movements inside of my belly while they're still there. And I'm still enjoying wrapping my head around the fact that there's a little person in there (seriously, I apparently spend my whole pregnancy wrapping my head around said idea...). I'm treating myself to warm baths and Spiced Wafer cookies (a Philadelphia fall tradition) and thoroughly enjoying pulling out the baby gear from when Conner was tiny with the notion that it gets to be used again. I'm focused on resting when possible, spending time with my favorite little dude before he becomes a big brother, and reading and saying the beautiful birth affirmations from the cards I scored from Birth Without Fear (click the link...it'll take you to their shop page where you can score a set too!)

Photo credit: Me! @thiswholemommything on Instagram

We're getting there. Whenever you're ready, little one <3

Friday, September 12, 2014

Packing for the Hospital: What's In My Bag?

As of Saturday, I'll be 34 weeks pregnant. Meaning in have six-ish weeks until this little nugget makes his or her arrival. Woosh.

If you don't know by now, I'm an avid over-preparer...I think it's a Taurus thing. I need to feel prepared and I like to feel in control. List making, packing, planning...I love it all. So naturally, packing my hospital bag was a necessary moment to give me some control in what is going to be an event that I am not in control of...because going into labor is all up to the nugget. 

Everyone has their own preferences as to what they put in their hospital bag and you'll likely hear different things from different people. But for those who are curious and/or want a list that's easy (or so I think) and a little bit fabulous (you'll understand at the end of this), here's what you'll find in my pretty Vera Bradley duffle :) (oh, if you didn't know this either: I'm addicted to Vera).

Toiletries and Makeup
I scored my toiletries bag in one of those $2 grab bags at Michaels last year. It was kind of an awesome score. My makeup bag (with the V on it) is actually from theknot.com and is from my wedding! It matched the bags I gave my bridesmaids. The little brush bag is from MAC.
In with my toiletries you'll find:
-Toothbrushes for hubby and I, and a tube of toothpaste
-Face wash (I like Saint Ives grapefruit scrub...it's salycilic acid-free, so it's pregnancy and nursing safe)
-Shampoo and conditioner (I've packed the Neil George samples I scored in my latest Birchbox. They smell great and are just the perfect size)
-Bodywash (I grabbed a really yummy smelling bottle of Suave from the commissary!)
-Travel-sized lotion
-Chapstick (a labor MUST for me!)
-Nursing pads (just in case I'll need them and the hospital can't provide them)
-Hair ties and bobby pins
-Contact lens case (in a cute little Vera case, of course) 
-Contact lens solution
-Neutogena face wipes
-A hairbrush 

I've also packed a couple of my own towels, so I don't have to use the non-fluffy hospital towels when I shower. Oh! And once they arrive, I'll be adding a few Earth Mama Angel Baby goodies to my bag as well :)

Before you judge my makeup case...let me make my case (see what I did there?! Ha!). I looked like absolute hell when Conner was born. I was exhausted, swollen from heavy antibiotics, woozy from my surgery and hungry from not having eaten for over 18 hours. It wasn't pretty. The pictures I'm in from the hospital make me sad and I hate them and the only people who've seen them are myself and Derek. This time around I decided to pack a small bag of makeup so that I could freshen up at some point if I want to...and hopefully not hate the pictures of myself and my new nugget. In my makeup bag you'll find:
-Tinted moisturizer (Aveeno Positively Radiant)
-Benefit Hula bronzer
-Clinique powder blush
-L'oreal Voluminous mascara
-Urban Decay's Naked Basics palette
-A few clean makeup brushes (in the purple MAC bag)

What else will you find in my hospital bag?
Clothing etc.

I pack relatively lightly (well, for me it's light haha) when it comes to clothing for the hospital. I've got:
-Underwear I don't care about. (Actually, it's a few pairs of maternity underwear. I learned with my C-section that maternity underpants are the most comfortable because they fit a bulky pad well and sit well below my incision. I've got a few pairs packed this time, too, whether I rock a VBAC or a CBAC)
-A nursing bra. (From Motherhood Maternity. My milk didn't come in until after I went home from the hospital with Conner, so I pack a bra close to the size I'm currently wearing)
-Nursing tanks (I like the Gillian & O'Malley tanks from Target)
-A light cotton robe and nightgown that will be easy to nurse in (again, I bought a nice little Gillian & O'Malley set from Target)
-A nursing cover...I learned quickly with Conner that being a Military family, we had a lot of uniformed, male visitors at the hospital. Leadership from my husband's unit visit new babies in the hospital and for my own comfort, I packed a nursing cover in case a visitor pops in during a feeding.
-Shower shoes
-A going home outfit...black yoga pants and a cotton sweatshirt-ish top

And the most fabulous part of my bag?

Yep. I'm packing ruby red slippers. RAD.

On the way out the door I'll grab a small bag that I'm adding my affirmations book and some snacks to, and will toss in my iPad, charger, glasses as well. And you'll probably find me scrutinizing my hospital bag until the day I take it with me...because that's what I do :)

In another post I'll talk about what I'm packing for baby, since that's a separate Vera bag...

Until next time,