TOP 10 FOR MONTHS 1-3

Paul and I can't believe we're already heading into FOUR months of (physical) parenthood! When we found out we were expecting again, we honestly just concentrated on praying for a healthy pregnancy + a baby to bring home. God took care of this and SO much more. Jet has been a true blessing and overall, an easy baby (so far ;)) <3 In honor of reaching this milestone and officially being out of the woods of the Fourth Trimester, Paul + I teamed up in this post to each share our Top 10 items that helped get us through that season!

We hope this post will serve you as a helpful guide to those who are expecting for the first time (or 2nd, 3rd), but most importantly to those that are expecting after loss just like we were. We pray that if you're reading this - that you have a safe and wonderful remainder of your pregnancy and that these items will bless you, your partner + little one(s) in those first few months. Wherever you are in your season, know that you are doing an A M A Z I N G job. Parenthood is no easy feat but we believe there is no greater joy or higher calling. So wherever you are, we stand with you and are cheering you on!

Here we go! 


Paul's F I V E items:

1 // S O U N D  M A C H I N E - we were gifted this sound machine by our brothers around our first month with Jet. At the time, Jet was going through a cluster feeding phase and was fussy during car rides. We pulled over our local Bestbuy one night and they came back to the car with this handy machine in hand! It's battery operated, light and real easy to use. We played it almost immediately and it really helped Jet relax and soothe himself. Myra and I clip it on to his carseat, wooden play gym, hang it above our bed when we sleep and sometimes hold it while we put Jet to sleep. His favorites are the rain and ocean sounds. It's super affordable and helpful! 

 

2 // S W A D D L E S - so Myra went a bit crazy with collecting swaddles during her pregnancy (LOL!) When Jet came home we realized we wouldn't ever need to get anymore. I remember the first month and a half vividly. We were going through 2-3 swaddles a day - spit up, keeping him warm, matching certain ones with his outfit, helping him with sleep. I was so determined to swaddle him "right" just like the nurses at the hospital! I like to think I am now a swaddle expert. These were a MUST for us! So get your swaddle supply stocked and ready! And always keep an extra (or 2) in the diaper bag :-)

3 // G R I P E W A T E R + N O S E F R I D A - we noticed during the first few weeks of having Jet home that he would easily get gassy + fussy after feeds. We got advice in regards to these concerns and in addition to sitting him upright for at least 20 minutes after feeds and sometimes even placing him on tummy time to help decompress the air, I went out to get Gripe Water from our local Target. The brand that I got was Mommy's Bliss. It comes with a dropper and is super easy to administer to Jet. Gripe water is also known to help with other issues such as: colic, teething and hiccups. This was a lifesaver for us so I suggest definitely having some on hand. || The nasal aspirator by Frida is must have for us! One of our aunts graciously gave us the entire Frida Bundle of Joy box as a baby shower gift. We haven't used all of the items yet but the first we put to use was this aspirator. At first I looked at Myra with crazy eyes because I didn't understand it and thought the snot was going to get to me, haha. But after using it for the first time, we never use the classic ones again. This came in super helpful when Jet got his first cold early January. This item is more hygienic, easy to clean and simple to use. Another must have, folks!

4 // K E E K A R O O  C H A N G I N G P A D - so glad that Myra showed me this pad when we were building up our registry list. No changing pad cover to wash, remove, and replace with another constantly. This sturdy rubber material makes changing/ dressing Jet an easier and quicker task! Easy to clean, soft enough for him to lay on while getting changed, and of course Myra was sure to find it in a color to match his room (LOL!) It also comes with a safety belt to strap on the changing table in the future for when Jet becomes more mobile, although I feel like this is fast approaching!

5 // S N U G G L E M E O R G A N I C - this next item was a "big" personal expense for us. I remember Myra telling me about this and comparing it with the Dock-A-Tot. We both ended up going with this baby sensory lounger and are so glad that we did. Jet didn't end up liking to sleep in the Moses basket bassinet we got him during his early weeks; even until now he can only do naps in there. This option was a saving grace for us. It wasn't in our plan to have him bed share with us but that is what ended up happening in our case. The Snuggle Me Organic is designed to be a calming place for babies to rest. It is safe, keeps his back flat and him snug, is designed with borders that prevent him from rolling out and mimics the feelings of the womb. We really like this item a lot!

 

Myra's F I V E items:

6 // M U L T I P U R P O S E C O V E R - I remember when building up this registry + how lost I would get by the numerous prints + patterns I would stumble upon. One of these areas were multi-purpose covers; used for nursing feeds, grocery cart shopping and carseat covers. I narrowed my list to three prints total (with the help of Paul of course) and am so glad we ended up not going overboard. When one is in use and another in the wash, there is a third in the dresser. These have helped cover Jet up in the carseat when we take him out with us (ie. germs, the weather, sun). It is so convenient for us to pull down if he is napping in his carseat while we're out or to quickly pull over me when I need to feed him in public. I highly recommend getting at least 2-3 of these! We're excited to use them soon when Jet is able to sit in shopping carts. I got one each from Covered Goods, Milk Snob and Copper Pearl - all great brands!

7 // H A A K A A S I L I C O N P U M P - Seriously, I don't know what I would do without this handy thing! As soon as I got close to the 30s in weeks of pregnancy, I Amazon Prime'd this item. I heard and read so many mamas that breastfeed rave about this pump and I thought, "Whether or not I end up successfully breastfeeding, at least I'll have this on hand" - and am so glad I did. It is so light to carry around + so simple to use! You just gently suction it onto the breast that is not in use during feedings and it just collects the let down that would otherwise go to waste in your bra or breast pad - G E N I U S ! Along with pumping, I collect a good amount with this pump and it serves as nice, extra stash!

8 // B A B Y C A R R I E R S - This is another area that I had to control myself with! Throughout my pregnancy with Haven, I remember one of the things I was most excited about was getting to "wear" her. So once we arrived into those last more "promising" weeks, I narrowed down which wraps I absolutely loved and would go best with not just my very neutral wardrobe but with Paul's also. I love both Solly Baby + My Wildbird - both businesses that pour so much love + heart into their products and customers. We ended up going with 3 Wildbirds slings, 2 Solly wraps + were gifted with an Ergobaby carrier - all neutral and prints/ colors that both Paul + I and our family/ friends can wear and easily use also. The Solly Baby wraps are made of gorgeous material - lightweight, airy and so incredibly soft. The wrap is easy to use and can be used up until Jet is 25 pounds; we are so glad we made so much use of this product during Jet's early newborn days and look forward to many more with him in it. The Wildbird slings are also just as gorgeous and easy to use! It took a couple uses to get familiar to the technique of the ring but once I got it down, it became second nature. We got these slings both in Chambray + Solid Linen (single + double layers) - and I can't speak highly enough about all 3. Choosing which material is up to each person's preference. I was curious about these 3 types, so I got one of each and all are so beautiful. These slings can get use up to 35 pounds. The last carrier we have is the Ergobaby Adapt carrier in black. This carrier is infant ready and can be used up til' 45 pounds! No infant insert necessary, machine friendly, breastfeeding friendly and can carry in all positions: front, back, and hip. We love all our wraps + carriers so much!

 

9 // E S S E N T I A L O I L S - I won't be getting too much into this in this post but I don't know what I'd do without our oils! All of our oils are from Young Living for numerous reasons but a few that I will share now are because: we are confident these essential oils are safe, pure and are made with integrity! Read about Young Living's Seed to Seal promise here: (www.seedtoseal.com). Both times I found out we were expecting, I knew immediately that I wanted to raise my babies in a safe, clean and in the most natural environment possible. And oils opened the door for us to start doing so. Though our process is a slow, new and imperfect one still, I believe we've made an important + life changing decision by saying YES to Young Living and achieving wellness through the use of essential oils. We use Lavender, Gentle Baby, Digize and Sleepyize almost daily - through the diffuser and topically (with a carrier oil) on and for Jet. These oils have helped not just Jet but Paul and I as well - sleep support, tummy aid, help with fussiness, and fighting nap times. You name it - there's nothing these plant powerhouses can't do! They're amazing!

10 // M I L K S U P P L Y T H I N G S - Though I haven't had any issues (with a dip in supply, getting mastitis, or anything (yet), the following alongside my Haakaa pump have helped Jet & I establish a good foundation for our breastfeeding journey:

  • Oat Mama lactation tea and bars: both the bars and tea are delicious! In the weeks/ days I was using these products, I noticed that my breasts got fuller faster after each feed and even got decent amounts pumped for storage. I'm always sure to carry a bar or 2 in my diaper bag and even keep 1 in my pumping cart to snack on during those late night feeds!
  • Fennel + Basil essential oil DIY roller: I made a milk supply support roller after about a month and a half of having Jet home using essential oils and jojoba oil. Inexpensive and super easy to make! Supplies: 8 drops of Fennel EO, 8 drops of Basil EO, 10cc roller ball and fill the remainder of the roller with jojoba oil (serves as a carrier oil to help dilute the essential oil). I roll this on top of my breasts and underarms once every ten days to help keep my supply up.
  • Hydroflask: I do my best not to go without my 40 ounce Hydroflask! Constantly drinking water! Drinking water/ fluids while breastfeeding is so, SO important. I find that keeping my flask with me or water bottle nearby reminds me to keep drinking. 
  • Cotton, re-washable breast pads: as part of doing my best to be less wasteful, I opted for cotton, re-washable pads and ordered 2 sets of 10 pairs (totaling to 20) on Amazon! These have been another saving grace! Money saved + less trash = one happy mama. I bought so many pairs to disperse with me. A few in the diaper bag, a set in the car, one in current use, some in the wash and the rest in the drawer ready for use.

If you've made it through this whole post, thank you! Both Paul and I hope that some of these items help guide you through your own registry list as well as through your own Fourth Trimester. These items have been some of our essentials during our own fourth trimester + some we're even bringing along and still using for our new season. As I finish up typing this, I am still shocked that there is an actual baby with us here at home! Jet is a miracle and parenthood is the greatest gift! Months 1-3 was proof that the newborn days do indeed go by so quickly! Enjoy them + your precious little one(s). <3

SHOP THESE ITEMS: 

 S O U N D  M A C H I N E //  S W A D D L E S (Loulou Lollipop) (Aden and Anais) (Little Unicorn) // G R I P E W A T E R + N O S E F R I D A // K E E K A R O O  C H A N G I N G P A D // S N U G G L E M E O R G A N I C // M U L T I P U R P O S E C O V E R // H A A K A A S I L I C O N P U M P // B A B Y C A R R I E R S (Solly) (Wildbird) (Ergo) // E S S E N T I A L O I L S // M I L K S U P P L Y T H I N G S (Oat Mama) (Breast Pads)

NEW YEAR, MORE US

We're looking forward to many firsts as a family - 2018 being our first new year! Jet experienced his firsts of New Year traditions in our household. He was up for majority of New Year's Eve so by the time midnight rolled around he was fast asleep. If you are Filipino, I'm sure you know all about the funny ones your parents shared with you growing up. At the stroke of midnight, immediately after kisses and the throwing of coins in the air, my parents told Paul and I to stretch/ massage Jet's legs in hopes that he will be tall one day. As children and for as long as my dad's back could, he lifted my siblings and I up by the head in hopes to be tall also. If you know me in real life, unfortunately all of his hard work didn't end up coming true, haha. 

We spent the first day 2018 with family; we hope to continue to be more present and have quality time with both of our families throughout the rest of the year. I also thought with a new year, new babe, and the days counting down until I return back to work - that it was the perfect time to unplug from Instagram to reset my heart, mind, body, and spirit. My word for 2017 was unintentionally, Vulnerability - and while it scared the heck out of me, being so changed me for the better. I believe the word(s) for my 2018 will be Purpose + Redemption. In order to focus and re-ground myself, I took two weeks off to gather my 2018 intentions + dreams individually and as a family and this is what we came up with: 

  • be the best wife and mom that I can possibly be
  • continue to be present, to have more moments
  • keeping up my journey towards 'less is more' (both internally and externally) 
  • be intentional with family + friends
  • work towards wellness as a family and learn how to incorporate essential oils into our daily life 

_________

  • God willing, find another nursing job position
  • find a home church
  • work hard towards our debt free journey 
  • pursue my floral dreams
  • practice more self care, love and affirmation | get my body back into shape
  • travel whenever possible 
  • read more books 

While I like to always hone down on goals and dreams for every new year, I know firsthand that you just have to prepare to learn + embrace the unknown with an open mind and an open heart. The last two years were my evidence of this exactly - 2016 broke me, positioning and toughening me up for 2017. As I acknowledge the intentions my heart wants to strive towards in 2018, I know and trust that the things for me will not pass me and will ultimately unfold for my good because God is already there. 

"New year, more us. More love, grace, peace and rest."

Happy New Year, friends. Here's to more of YOU.

 

All my love, 

Myra


* We got Jethro's newborn photos taken about a month after he was born by our lovely friend and photographer, Elsie. She always captures our family and small space so well. You can view more of her work here

1ST CHRISTMAS AS A FAMILY OF FOUR

This Christmas was our second without our daughter, Haven and our first with her brother, Jethro. This holiday season was a memorable and beautiful one and was also one filled with redemption, restoration, and healing. Despite all of this there still remains an absence in my heart and a place meant for Haven in all of our family photos. Through all the tremendous amounts of laughter and love that we have felt and received ever since Jet's birth, a strong longing and wonder for what life would have been like if she were here with us consumes Paul and I. As I did my best to prepare and ready my heart for what this Christmas was going to mean to me this year - I found myself pondering between my "new mom" and angel mom life - how to parent and to be present for both my children, one here with me and the other in heaven and if I'd be good at either. 

I promised myself I would do and give my best to both everyday, continue to embrace this delicate balance of mine and that this was always a part of my calling in becoming a Mother. The gift of Jethro's healthy and beautiful life reminds me to shift my gaze on the true promise of This season - the redeeming love and hope that Jesus' life gives to us. The promise that one day we will get to celebrate and be with Haven again is the greatest gift and truth to cling onto. And not just for Christmas season but for everyday until then.

Naturally, Paul and I sought out our friend, Elsie to photograph our first Christmas as a family of four. (You can find the maternity photos she took of us here). The theme of the morning we got our photos taken was - RESTFUL + SLOW-, a theme that I'd like for my little family and I to work towards in the upcoming new year. We started our first Christmas family tradition by wearing matching pajamas (we purchased ours here), followed Jet's cues, sipped on coffee, diffused our favorite holiday essential oils, and had Jet's Christmas baby lullabies playing in the background. This day was wonderful and this season will be ones I'll want to look back on and remember for always. 

I hope you enjoy some of our favorites below and see that our Haven was very much with us in them also. 

From our family to you and yours, we pray that you had a bright and joyous 2017 Christmas! 

Our love, 

Paul, Myra, Haven and Jethro

 

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IN-HOME MATERNITY SESSION

Celebrating a brand N E W week + reaching another milestone with our son today by sharing some of our favorite shots from our in-home maternity session almost two weeks ago (SO crazy!) 

Elsie and I went to high school together. She was a year ahead of me. A couple months ago, I began to see her photography work appear on the Explore page of my Instagram feed. I clicked them, immediately fell in love, and added her! While I am a natural lover of and quick to "ooh" and "ahh" over the light + airy, bright whites and lots of negative space in photos, something caught a hold of me over Elsie's work. I quickly admired the story, mood and tone that her photos make her viewers feel. I felt intention, "present-ness", and intimacy as I clicked on her work. I knew right away that I wanted her to capture our maternity photos if we ever reached this stage in our pregnancy. By the grace of God we did + more!

If you know me, you know I dislike being in front of the camera - especially if I'm in front of it by myself. I get awkward and I don't know what to do with my hands or facial expressions, haha. But as soon as I opened my front door that morning, I was easily calmed by Elsie's lovely presence and gentle spirit. She was truly a delight to work with! She made sure Paul and I were always comfortable and made us feel like ourselves instead of "staged". At different times during our session, she asked us to share what we love most about each other, our love story, things Paul and I will do our best to instill in and teach our son, and even asked us to talk about our sweet, Haven and what her short yet beautiful life taught us. We praise Elsie for this -- her openness to want to talk about our daughter, made us feel like Haven was right there in our photos with us. And our girl really was. 

If you are reading this and are needing and/or wanting couple or family photos to be taken, Paul and I can't recommend Elsie enough! She's the BEST. Elsie, if you're reading this -- THANK YOU forever for blessing us and our family with such a special session during a very beautifully hard season. <3

 

S O U R C E S // 

Comfiest maternity/ nursing friendly dress, ever: Dwell + Slumber | Hair + Makeup: Linda Yoon | Photography: Elsie Christine